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This book examines Irish society and politics from a class perspective. It provides a wide-ranging introduction to the involvement of the changing middle class in Irish political life and the public sphere between the eighteenth and late twentieth centuries. Sixteen historians trace the rise and consolidation of middle-class political power, as well as significant conflicts within this class during a period of considerable social and political turmoil. The contributions comprise both analytical surveys covering long periods and case/area studies that provide new perspectives on crucial moments, movements and figures in Irish history.