Personalities of the Decade 1912-1922

Dr Johnston McMaster

Facts and figures do not make history interesting. Personalities do. People are history-makers for good and ill, and during the crucial decade, 1912-1922, there were key personalities and key players. Politicians were exclusively male.

The book features four nationalist/republican political personalities, four unionist leaders and four British politicians, though one of the latter was not a constitutional politician the constitutional monarch. They were all people of their time who can be judged critically but only in the context of their time.

As personalities of the time they are like the rest of us, flawed and contradictory. So we see genius and flaws in their personalities, things to affirm and things that make us cringe. But what would we have done and would we have acted differently?

For better and worse these twelve shaped the rest of our twentieth century and their shadows fall on our still difficult pathway. They were not the only key personalities and players. There were others but books have limits and apologies of your favourite politician of the revolution and change is not here.