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David McWilliams launches his new book, The Pope's Children: The Irish Economic Triumph and the Rise of Ireland's New Elite

, , , : a.m.

Thursday, March 13th 2008 at 7pm
at Glucksman Ireland House NYU

The Pope's ChildrenDavid McWilliams Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., The Pope's Children: The Irish Economic Triumph and the Rise of Ireland's New Elite is both a celebration and a bitingly funny portrait of the first generation of the Celtic Tiger, the beneficiaries of the economic miracle that propelled Ireland from poverty to affluence. Named for the ironic coincidence of the Irish baby boom of the 1970s, which peaked nine months to the day after Pope John Paul II’s historic visit to Ireland, the pope’s children are overflowing with money, ambition and optimism – but they are also the most hedonistic, status-conscious, and decadent Irish generation ever.

A noted Irish economist, broadcaster and best-selling author, David McWilliams cleverly dissects and describes contemporary Ireland. He tells how "Wonderbra Economics" is raising living standards and pushing the social classes closer together. He describes how prosperity has given rise to two distinct social classes: the Decklanders, so called because of their obsession with backyard decks and materialism; and the HiCos, who are trying to fuse their Irish heritage with cosmopolitan values – sometimes with quite droll results. Witty, intelligent and irreverent, The Pope’s Children tells the real story of Ireland’s economic and social transformation and was the best selling Irish non-fiction book in 2006, spending 52 consecutive weeks in the top five of the bestsellers.

McWilliams writes two weekly opinion columns, one in the Irish Independent and the other in the Sunday Business Post and has recently published The Generation Game. He has been a regular on Irish television and radio since his award-winning ‘Agenda’ current affairs program began on TV3 in 2000. He was educated at Trinity College Dublin and the College of Europe Bruges, Belgium. Before moving into writing and broadcasting he spent ten years in banking, first as an economist with the Irish Central Bank, where he helped draft the Irish Submission to the Maastricht Treaty and advised the authorities during the 1992-93 exchange rate crisis. He then moved to investment banking with UBS - European’s largest bank - where he was appointed the youngest Director ever at the age of 27. He was the first economist to predict the 1990s boom in Ireland which later became known as the “Celtic Tiger” in a 1994 in-depth report on Ireland, its economy and its prospects. He traveled extensively in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, devising bank strategy in both regions. He moved from UBS to BNP where he was Head of Emerging Markets Research.

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Directions to Glucksman Ireland House NYU.