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

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

Observer
Buried in the text of most histories you can detect the views of the author. Making Sense of the Troubles, the first attempt to tell the whole story of the past 30 years in Northern Ireland, is an exception.
— Anne McHardy
Independent
One of the great merits of David McKittrick and David McVea's book lies in the authors' ability to pinpoint the causes of trouble while avoiding oversimplification.... A valuable resume of causes and effects.
— Patricia Craig
The Irish Times
Comprehensive, considered and compassionate.
— Paul Arthur
Belfast Telegraph
A masterly account.
— Barry White
Glasgow Herald
Extraordinarily well-balanced, sane, comprehensive, and rich in sober understatement.
— Cal McCrystal
Observer - Anne McHardy
Buried in the text of most histories you can detect the views of the author. Making Sense of the Troubles, the first attempt to tell the whole story of the past 30 years in Northern Ireland, is an exception.
Independent - Patricia Craig
One of the great merits of David McKittrick and David McVea's book lies in the authors' ability to pinpoint the causes of trouble while avoiding oversimplification.... A valuable resume of causes and effects.
Irish Independent
If you want a frank, accurate and authoritative account you cannot do much better.... There could be no better guide through the intricacies of the Peace Process. This book...is likely to be the definitive account.... An important book.... It should be on every bookshelf.
The Irish Times - Paul Arthur
Comprehensive, considered and compassionate.
Belfast Telegraph - Barry White
A masterly account.
Glasgow Herald - Cal McCrystal
Extraordinarily well-balanced, sane, comprehensive, and rich in sober understatement.
Sunday Tribune - Susan McKay
This book tells a sorry tale, and it tells it with a powerful clarity.... It took steady nerves to undertake such a book.
Sunday Tribune
This book tells a sorry tale, and it tells it with a powerful clarity.... It took steady nerves to undertake such a book.
— Susan McKay
PAUL ARTHUR
Comprehensive, considered and compassionate.
IRISH TIMES
BARRY WHITE
A masterly account.
BELFAST TELEGRAPH
CAL MCCRYSTAL
Extraordinarily well-balanced, sane, comprehensive, and rich in sober understatement.
GLASGOW HERALD
SUSAN MCKAY
This book tells a sorry tale, and it tells it with a powerful clarity....
SUNDAY TRIBUNE
Booknews
Having previously collaborated on , which tells the stories of those who died as a result of the conflict in Northern Ireland, journalist McKittrick and political scholar McVea provide a broad-stroke account of the violence that rocked the region from the 1960s to the 1990s, with a brief historical background back to 1921. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561310708
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 301,870
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

David McKittrick writes for the Independent and is a winner of the Orwell Prize for Journalism. In 1999 he was named correspondent of the year by the BBC's What the Papers Say. He has reported on Northern Ireland since 1973. David McVea was, for many years, head of the politics department at a leading Belfast grammar school. He now works for Northern Ireland's examinations board. With David McKittrick he helped to produce the book Lost Lives, which tells the stories of all those who died as a result of the Troubles.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 Introduction ix Part 2 THE STATIC SOCIETY 1 Chapter 3 1921-63 Part 4 THE O'NEILL YEARS 26 Chapter 5 1963-69 Part 6 DESCENT INTO VIOLENCE 53 Chapter 7 1969-71 Part 8 THE END OF STORMONT 76 Chapter 9 1972-73 Part 10 SUNNINGDALE, STRIKE & STALEMATE 98 Chapter 11 1974-76 Part 12 FROM CASTLEREAGH TO WARRENPOINT 118 Chapter 13 1977-79 Part 14 THE HUNGERSTRIKES 134 Chapter 15 1981-81 Part 16 ANGLO-IRISH ACCORD 149 Chapter 17 1982-85 Part 18 ENNISKILLEN, LIBYA & BOMBS IN ENGLAND 167 Chapter 19 1986-93 Part 20 PEACE PROCESS 184 Chapter 21 1993-94 Part 22 DECOMMISSIONING, DOCKLANDS & DRUMCREE 200 Chapter 23 1994-96 Part 24 BREAKTHROUGH 214 Chapter 25 1997-2001 Part 26 PERSPECTIVES 230 Part 27 CHRONOLOGY 243 Part 28 TABLES 325 Part 29 GLOSSARY 331 Part 30 BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 338 Part 31 INDEX 340
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