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Making Sense of the Troubles: A History of…
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Making Sense of the Troubles: A History of the Northern Ireland Conflict (edição 2001)

por David McKittrick (Autor), David McVea (Autor)

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1811114,386 (3.73)Nenhum(a)
Compellingly written and even-handed in its judgments, this is by far the clearest account of what has happened through the years in the Northern Ireland conflict, and why. After a chapter of background on the period from 1921 to 1963, it covers the ensuing period--the descent into violence, the hunger strikes, the Anglo-Irish accord, the bombers in England--to the present shaky peace process. Behind the deluge of information and opinion about the conflict, there is a straightforward and gripping story. Mr. McKittrick and Mr. McVea tell that story clearly, concisely, and, above all, fairly, avoiding intricate detail in favor of narrative pace and accessible prose. They describe and explain a lethal but fascinating time in Northern Ireland's history, which brought not only death, injury, and destruction but enormous political and social change. They close on an optimistic note, convinced that while peace--if it comes--will always be imperfect, a corner has now been decisively turned. The book includes a detailed chronology, statistical tables, and a glossary of terms.… (mais)
Membro:loop
Título:Making Sense of the Troubles: A History of the Northern Ireland Conflict
Autores:David McKittrick (Autor)
Outros autores:David McVea (Autor)
Informação:Penguin (2001), 369 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:***
Etiquetas:Troubles, British history, Northern Ireland

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Making Sense of the Troubles: The Story of the Conflict in Northern Ireland por David McKittrick

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http://nhw.livejournal.com/191637.html

First off, this is one of the best books that I've read about the Troubles. It combines - not quite effortlessly, but at least effectively - at least three genres: i) the technocratic concentration on big picture processes that you get in Flackes and Elliott, Bew and Gillespie, and even (I must admit) my own website; ii) the inside account of the Republican movement and the "armed struggle", drawing on Tim Pat Coogan and to an extent the insider writings of Danny Morrison and Gerry Adams; and iii) the gruelling account of the violence from the victims' point of view, particularly vividly described by McKittrick and his co-authors in Lost Lives. It's this last bit that is the most difficult to read. It doesn't bear thinking about, but a book like this makes you think about it.

The book is generally very good on the political side, teasing out the motives for actors to behave as they did, relying on their own memoirs (where available) and balancing that with other people's impressions, starting right back with Terence O'Neill in 1963. The one exception, bizarrely, is perhaps the single most important event of the 1990s, the 1994 IRA ceasefire, which in this book drops almost out of a clear blue sky (as indeed it seemed to a lot of us at the time). There isn't really much explanation of why this happened at the time that it did.

I didn't catch any factual errors (or rather, I thought I had, but when I checked, they were right and I was wrong). The book finishes in 2000 and therefore incorrectly predicts that the SDLP and UUP will respectively stay ahead of Sinn Fein and the UUP for the foreseeable future, but that mistake was made by others too. There are a number of infelicitous bits of editing, with different sentences carrying the same information often repeated in a single paragraph.

It's a good book, but reading it all has left me rather drained. ( )
  nwhyte | Jan 18, 2008 |
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Compellingly written and even-handed in its judgments, this is by far the clearest account of what has happened through the years in the Northern Ireland conflict, and why. After a chapter of background on the period from 1921 to 1963, it covers the ensuing period--the descent into violence, the hunger strikes, the Anglo-Irish accord, the bombers in England--to the present shaky peace process. Behind the deluge of information and opinion about the conflict, there is a straightforward and gripping story. Mr. McKittrick and Mr. McVea tell that story clearly, concisely, and, above all, fairly, avoiding intricate detail in favor of narrative pace and accessible prose. They describe and explain a lethal but fascinating time in Northern Ireland's history, which brought not only death, injury, and destruction but enormous political and social change. They close on an optimistic note, convinced that while peace--if it comes--will always be imperfect, a corner has now been decisively turned. The book includes a detailed chronology, statistical tables, and a glossary of terms.

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