The Irish Times is a pillar of Irish society. Founded in 1859 as the paper of the Irish Protestant Middle Class, it now has a position in Irish political, social and cultural life which is incomparable. In fact this history of the Irish Times is also a history of the Irish people. Always independent in ownership and political view and never entwined in any way with the Roman Catholic Church, it has become the weather vane, the barometer of Irish life and society followed by people of all religious and political persuasions and none. The paper is politically liberal and progressive as well as being centre right on economic issues. This history is peopled by all the great figures of Irish history- Daniel O'Connell, W.B. Yeats, Garrett Fitzgerald, Conor Cruise O'Brien and the paper has numbered among its contributors Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. Its influence on Irish Society is beyond question. In his book, Terence Brown tells the story of the paper with narrative skill, wit and perception. The stance of the Times during events ranging from The Easter Rising, The Civil War, the Troubles and the recent economic recession make the book essential reading for students of Irish history, be they the general reader, the academic or amateur historian. The book will be seen as crucial to our understanding of Irish history in the past century and a half. Today the paper lists among its internationally renowned columnists- Fintan O'Toole, John Waters, Terence de Vere White and Kevin Myers.