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This updated edition of the best-selling history of the IRA now includes behind-the-scenes information on the recent advances made in the peace process. With clarity and objectivity, Coogan examines the IRA's origins, its foreign links, bombing campaigns, hunger strikes and sectarian violence and its role in the latest attempts to bring peace to Northern Ireland. Meticulously researched and featuring interviews with past and present members of the organization, this is a compelling account of modern Irish history.

When people think of the centuries-old struggle for home rule in Northern Ireland, they generally think of the Irish Republican Army. Now comess an exhaustive history of one of the most feared and misunderstood paramilitary groups of all time--by an authority on Irish affairs. 32 photos.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“No student of Irish history can afford to ignore this book. No scholar is likely to improve on it... A fascinating book, of the greatest possible value to us all...” —Times Literary Supplement

“The standard reference work on the subject...” —The New York Times

Times Literary Supplement
No student of Irish history can afford to ignore this book. No scholar is likely to improve on it.
New York Times
The standard reference work on the subject....
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Coogan ( The Man Who Made Ireland: The Life and Death of Michael Collins ) here presents a definitive history of an organization that has been equally romanticized and vilified. Considered by many to be the legitimate successor of the Fenians, the Irish Republican Army was founded during the war of independence (1916-1922). After the treaty signing, the leadership split over its ratification, dividing the IRA into Collins's pro-treaty side and Eamon de Valera's anti-treaty forces. Coogan relates the IRA's support of de Valera and his subsequent about-face on becoming Taoiseach (Prime Minister) when he introduced the Offences Against the State Act in 1939 in response to the IRA's bombing campaign in England. Some of the most interesting parts of this book surround the events of WW II when de Valera coyly played his neutrality card in favor of the British. Coogan reminds us that the present troubles in Northern Ireland began as a civil rights campaign and did not take on a truly militant character until the events of the Bloody Sunday massacre in 1972, in which 13 unarmed marchers were killed, reviving a comatose IRA. The author relates atrocities on both sides as the IRA fought with arms, hunger strikes and funeral processions, while the British countered with prisons, torture and assassination squads. This first U.S. edition (the book was originally published in the U.K. in 1970) is updated with important information concerning the Special Air Services, a British hit-unit and the story of ``Maxwell,'' an Ulster Defense Regiment officer whose mission included the destruction of the Book of Kells. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312294168
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 12/12/2001
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 864
  • Sales rank: 462,630
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Pat Coogan is one of the best known journalists and historians in Ireland. Former editor of theIrish Press, he has written several books, includingWherever Green is Worn (Palgrave), The Troubles (Palgrave), On the Blanket; and bestselling biographies of Michael Collins and De Valera. He lives in Dublin.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I Beginnings to 1969
1 The Origins of the IRA 3
2 Dilemmas of Violence and Politics 38
3 The Triumph of Fianna Fail 64
4 The IRA's Foreign Links 92
5 The Bombing Campaign 113
6 Years of Disaster 132
7 The IRA in the North 160
8 The Years of the Curragh 191
9 The IRA and the Nazis 202
10 Republic and Republicans: I 218
11 Republic and Republicans: II 244
12 Prelude to the Border Campaign 256
13 Splits in the Ranks 277
14 The Border Campaign: 1956-62 297
15 New Initiatives: 1962-70 330
Pt. II 1969-1979
16 The Roots of the Conflict 341
17 The Constitutional Participants in the Drama 354
18 The Provisional IRA - the Rebirth of a Movement 365
19 The British Campaign 385
20 Response to Violence 392
21 Prison: Riots, Escapes, Unlucky Freedoms, Personalities and a Place Called Crossmaglen 402
22 Hunger Striking: the IRA Reach Beyond the Bars 410
23 Arms 426
24 The Use of Torture 438
25 Sectarian Murder 443
26 Return to Secrecy and Discipline 464
Pt. III 1979-1986
27 The Ignition of the Crisis 477
28 Five Demands and Hunger Strikes 486
29 The Test of the Ballot Box 502
30 Bombs in Britain and Counter-Insurgency 513
31 Action in Ireland 522
32 The INLA: 1980-93 534
33 The Green Book: I 544
34 The Green Book: II 560
Pt. IV 1986-1993
35 The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend 575
36 Gerry Adams 620
37 Peace Comes Dropping Slow 639
38 From Despair to Hope 671
App. I 774
App. II 775
Selected References 777
Glossary 780
Index of Names 783
General Index 799
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2008

    very comprehensive look at the IRA

    This book covers the fascinating story of the IRA from it's beginnings right up to the start of the new millennium. I especially liked the fact that much of the text is drawn from the authors' own experiences as a journalist from interviews conducted with IRA men and women in active service, captivity, exile, and retirement, as well as accounts from friends and family members. I also enjoyed the accounts from the UDA/Loyalist point of view, which I did not expect. Although this book is a long one at over 700 pages, Tim Pat's writing style flows well and is neither wandering nor to rigid. It makes for an enjoyable read. I bought this book because I didn't know much about the IRA or the situation of Northern Ireland and all its consequences for the people of that region and Ireland as a whole. Now I can safely say that I have been well informed from this book and look to further my knowledge on the subject even more. If your curious about the subject of Irish Nationalism pick this one up, I can't see how you could possibly be disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2006

    a great book for anyone wanting the real story of the Irish struggle for rights and independence

    Tim Coogan describes, in great detail, how the IRA formed, why they formed, and the battles they fought. He also discusses the political wing of the IRA. I would give this book 6 stars if possible.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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