An autobiography by Desmond Fennell

 ‘…one of the outstanding original thinkers of our time…’

Desmond Fennell has been a major force in the intellectual life of this country for at least the past five decades. In this fascinating and revealing autobiography he traces the progress of his life from his earliest memories as a child in Belfast to the first intellectual awakenings as student in UCD and Bonn and then to a career that brought him to live and work in Spain, Germany, Sweden the USA and Italy—as well as more than a decade in Conamara where he was active in a revolution that reshaped the Irish language movement. The author of many books on Irish and international affairs, he has earned a reputation as a courageous and at times controversial commentator, and his journalism in the early 1970s helped to bring about a rethinking of the Nationalist approach to Northern Ireland, thus providing a philosophical basis for the peace process of the 1990.

This book also reveals him to be an intellectual very much in the European tradition as a speaker of six languages with a wide range of cultural and philosophical interests and a deep knowledge of literature and art.


“A remarkable autobiography, it is also a splendid showcase for some of his best and most influential writing over the decades of a strenuous career, lived largely for the intellect.” Irish Catholic.

‘...he is a genuine thinker, whose 19 books address the fabric and musculature of the modern Irish state’. Sunday Times.

‘Fascinating and revealing autobiography’.  Sunday Independent

‘This is a major contribution to debate in Ireland’. The Phoenix.

‘Desmond Fennell is that very rare thing—an intellectual who loves his country and takes it as a test-case of the entire modern world.’—DECLAN KIBERD

‘Desmond Fennell is one of the outstanding original thinkers of our time; he possesses a fine mind unadulterated by the whimsy of any particular day or any beguiling movement or politician.’—EAMON DUNPHY



ISBN: 978 0 9955239 20
Paperback with flaps

1 March 2017
Somerville Press