Friends and enemies

The Allies and neutral Ireland in the Second World War

By Karen Garner

Friends and enemies


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5729-4
  • Pages: 264
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: August 2021
  • BIC Category: Modern History, History, HISTORY / Europe / Ireland, HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century, HISTORY / Military / World War II, Humanities / 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, Political Leaders & Leadership, Ireland, Humanities / Second World War


This history of Anglo-American efforts to overturn Ireland's neutrality policy during the Second World War adds complexity to the grand narrative of the Western Alliance against the Axis Powers, exploring relatively unexamined emotional, personalised, and gendered politics that underlay policymaking and alliance relations. Friends and enemies combines the methodologies of diplomatic history through its close reliance on archival documentation with attention to new theoretical understandings regarding the roles played by personal friendships and enmities and competing masculine ideologies among national leaders. Including, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Eamon de Valera, and their close foreign policy advisers in London, Washington DC and Dublin, as they constructed national identities and defined their nations' special relationships in time of war.


'. takes a novel approach, applying a gender analysis to a well-worn subject.' Mervyn O'Driscoll, University College Cork

'A good history of World War II from three perspectives: the Irish, British, and American. Garner shows not only how Ireland fit into Big power relations, but how the small country proved to have a seminal role in many issues in the world war.' Thomas W Zeiler, University of Colorado, Boulder


1 Agreements Made, Pledges Broken: Europe in the 1930s
2 Neutral States in a World at War, September 1939 through May 1940
3 'Unstoppable' Germany, 'Unbeatable' Britain, June through December 1940
4 In Pursuit of America's Friendship, January through June 1941
5 British Friend, Irish Foe, July through December 1941
6 Efforts to 'Break the Backbone' of Irish Neutrality, January 1942 through December 1943
7 Eire, Neutral to the Bitter End, January 1944 through June 1945


Karen Garner is Professor of Historical Studies at SUNY Empire State College, USA. She is a Fulbright Scholar and author of five academic books including Shaping a Global Women's Agenda: Women's NGOs and Global Governance, 1925-85, published by MUP in 2010

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