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Ohio Wesleyan University Professor’s New Book Makes its Debut
Sean Kay, Ph.D., spent two years researching Ireland’s rise, fall, and hope for renewal

June 6, 2011

DELAWARE, OH – Simon Johnson, a former director of the International Monetary Fund, encourages world leaders to take heed and learn from the lessons shared by Ohio Wesleyan University professor Sean Kay in his latest book, “Celtic Revival? The Rise, Fall, and Renewal of Global Ireland.”

“ ‘The Great Country Known as Ireland’ was brought low by incompetent bankers, greedy property developers, and short-sighted politicians,” Johnson states in his review of the book. “Sean Kay is quite persuasive that Ireland will be back. But he also illustrates in many ways that the human cost of this financial disaster is beyond measure. Other peoples should and must learn the hard lessons imposed upon Ireland by its political elite. Read this book and avoid the fate of the Irish—before you too follow in their footsteps.”

Kay’s “Celtic Revival?” has just been published by Rowman & Littlefield Inc. The book provides an in-depth analysis of Ireland’s past, present, and future, which is especially timely given Ireland’s virtual economic collapse in 2008 and its ongoing efforts to rebuild and redefine itself in a global context.

Well-known Irish political journalist and educator Elaine Byrne also recommends the book, stating: “Sean Kay has done Ireland a service. This eloquent and timely narrative should be obligatory reading for those that bankrupted and betrayed my generation. This book is also about hope. The foundations for the renewal of the Irish Republic have now been written. Thank you.”

Kay, Ph.D., has been a member of the Ohio Wesleyan politics and government faculty since 1999 and is chair of the OWU International Studies Program.

In the book, Kay writes: “Placed in the perspective of Ireland’s long arch of history, the clear lesson of this story is that the Irish people have taken a major hit with the collapse of the Celtic Tiger and what came after, but the trends over the long run are positive. Ireland is embarking on a renewal, and the quality of the Irish people will stead it well as this country embarks on its million small steps into the future. If we are lucky, what emerges in the years to come from the Celtic revival will be Ireland’s most lasting export to the world in the twenty-first century.”

Still, he says, Ireland’s story provides vital lessons for the world, and the United States in particular, including dire warnings about the impact of Europe’s debt crisis and America’s still-unresolved banking crisis.

Kay will return to Ireland in August and September to promote the book and finalize plans for his 2012 OWU Travel-Learning course, “Seeing Europe through Ireland’s Eyes.” Students enrolled in the course will study the evolution of the Republic of Ireland, including its reaction to the political, economic, and military integration ongoing in modern Europe as well as its contemporary decision-making in the national and international arena.

Here in the United States, Kay also is promoting his book this summer with a national launch June 21 at The Eisenhower Institute in Washington, D.C. He will hold regional book signings June 11 at Fireside Book Shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio—where he is a 1985 graduate of Chagrin Falls High School and a 2008 inductee into the school district’s Alumni Achievement Hall of Fame—and June 14 signing at Beehive Books in Delaware, Ohio.

Learn more about Kay’s new book, “Celtic Revival? The Rise, Fall, and Renewal of Global Ireland.”


Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 45 states and 52 countries. Ohio Wesleyan was named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.