Fintan O’Toole (born 16 February 1958) is a polemicist, literary editor, journalist and drama critic for The Irish Times, for which he has written since 1988. O’Toole was drama critic for the New York Daily News from 1997 to 2001 and is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books. He is also an author, literary critic, historical writer, and political commentator. Several his books focus on the rise, fall, and aftermath of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger.
O’Toole was born in Dublin, grew up in a working-class family, and was educated at University College Dublin. In 2011, he was named by The Observer as one of “Britain’s top 300 intellectuals”, although he does not live in the UK. In 2012 and 2013 O’Toole was a visiting lecturer in Irish letters at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey and contributed to the Fund for Irish Studies Series.
Books in order of publication:
The Politics of Magic: the Work and Times of Tom Murphy. 1987.
A Mass for Jesse James: A Journey Through 1980s Ireland, 1990
Black Hole, Green Card: The Disappearance of Ireland, 1994
Meanwhile Back at the Ranch: The Politics of Irish Beef, 1994
Macbeth & Hamlet, 1995
A Traitor’s Kiss: The Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 1997
The Ex-Isle of Ireland: Images of a Global Ireland, 1997
The Lie of the Land, 1998
The Irish Times Book of the Century, 1999
Shakespeare is Hard But So is Life, 2002
After The Ball, 2003
White Savage: William Johnson and the Invention of America, 2005
The Irish Times Book of The 1916 Rising, 2006 (with Shane Hegarty)
Ship of Fools, How Stupidity And Corruption Sank The Celtic Tiger, 2009
Enough is Enough: How to Build a New Republic, 2010
Up the Republic!: Towards a New Ireland (editor), 2012
A History of Ireland in 100 Objects, 2013
Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks, 2016
Judging Shaw, 2017
Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain, 2018
The Politics of Pain: Postwar England and the Rise of Nationalism, 2019 We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Ireland Since 1958, 2021