Tom Wilson, 27 February 1992
It has often been said that the Irish tragedy can be ended only by political means. In this political autobiography, Dr Garret FitzGerald gives a fascinating account of his own attempts to contribute to this end. It was a role for which he seemed better-equipped than any other party leader in the Republic. His political lineage as a nationalist was impeccable: both his parents had been engaged in the struggle for national independence. When British rule came to an end and civil war broke out within the Irish Free State, his father took the side of the new government, in which he subsequently became Foreign Minister. Through his mother, an Ulster Presbyterian by origin, he also acquired contacts in the North quite unusual among Dublin politicians. To the experience of growing up in a distinguished political and literary family, he could add his own experience as an administrator and an academic.