At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Friday, August 27, 2004


English, Richard. Armed struggle: a history of the IRA. Oxford, 2003. 486p bibl index afp ISBN 0-19-516605-1, $35.00.

Choice: “All academic libraries will want this excellent work. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.” Contemporary Review: “This book must at least help the reader to understand the motivation of the IRA in its several guises over the last century. There is evidence of remarkably detailed research.” Publishers Weekly: “Balanced and complex. A provocative and essential book for anyone trying to understand Northern Ireland’s tempestuous recent history, providing even better insight into the IRA’s ideology than Ed Moloney’s recent A Secret History of the IRA.” Booklist: “Without discernible bias, English provides a readable history of the modern IRA.” Economist: “Despite its mealy-mouthed pandering to the sensibilities of murderers, and its eagerness to breast-beat over the excesses and failure of the British state, Mr. English’s well written book convincingly demonstrates the ghastly futility of the IRA campaign.” Library Journal: “Whether he intended to or not, English seems to justify the IRA’s violence. In page after page, he chronicles the IRA’s bombings, killings, and attacks as tragic but necessary within the political context and Protestant response as just vengeful. Ultimately, what is most frustrating is that English doesn’t explain precisely how peace has come to pass. This is not the history of the IRA but only the latest history—and a tendentious one at that.”


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