From sports to civil war funerals, from famous authors to Irish gypsies beside the road, "The Irish: A Photohistory" is an insightful look at Irish life stretching back to the years just after the Famine, when photography was only beginning to come into widespread use. Famously, there is little known photography from the horrific height of the Famine. Still, "The Irish: A Photohistory" does include fascinating portraits from its aftermath, of peasants living in the 1850s and 1860s. From the decades following, there is a rich body of work chronicling farmers, fisherman, fishwives and laborers. There is also, of course, landscape work and portraits of ruins, which are beautiful, if familiar. Less predictably, there are dazzling shots of horse races and hurlers in action, as well as striking nude portraits. The organization of this book is a little jumbled, and the editors might have been better off going with a purely - rather than roughly - chronological order. Still, what can't be denied is that this book of over 270 images displays the diversity of Irish life from roughly 1860 to the post-civil war era of the 1920s. ($40 / 224 pages / Thames & Hudson)