This is the story of the life and times of a West Cork farmer, growing up and struggling to survive in the 1920s and 1930s, managing his farm through the 1950s and adjusting to new forces in the 1970s but marginalized by the times we now live in. The book draws on unique source materials and is illustrated with original colour photographs.
Jack Sheehan was one of eleven children born into an impoverished farming family on the Sheep's Head peninsula in southwest Ireland. Growing up in hungry times, he stayed on the farm all his eighty-three years, taking it over when his father died and steadfastly caring for its fields through the dormant 1950s and the better times that came in the decades that followed. He lived to see the eclipse of his farming world and to view with dismay the way encroaching property speculators and consumerism were changing the nature of his landscape. Jack Sheehan was born just as the Irish state was coming into existence and his life is as revealing of that country's history as the more familiar accounts of national figures.
Jack's World's is illustrated in colour with specially commissioned photographs taken by three people, Danny Gralton, Ciaran Watson and Danny Levy Sheehan, who all knew Jack and know his farm. The book is also illustrated with maps, including one showing the farm's fields and their Irish names that were preserved by Jack, and photographs of early documents relating to his farm's history. The book's unique sources, in addition to the memories of friends and family who knew Jack and shared aspects of his world, include diaries kept by Jack from the early 1930s onwards.
Sean Sheehan, is a nephew of Jack and he has written a number of books, including a guide to anarchism and a biography of Socrates. He is presently writing a book about Lenin.