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Blanketmen: An Untold Story of the H-block Hunger Strike [Paperback]

Richard O'Rawe
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
RRP: 13.99
Price: 12.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Blanketmen: An Untold Story of the H-block Hunger Strike + Ten Men Dead: Story of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike + One Day In My Life
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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: New Island Books (1 Feb 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904301673
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904301677
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 214,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An astonishing insight into the 1981 Hunger Strike 27 April 2005
By Solo Walker VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I urge you to suspend judgement & read this lucid and honest account of the events that took place inside the H-Blocks. The author tells his story with wry humour starting with how he ended up inside after a bodged up bank robbery for the IRA. He explains the events that led to the dirty protest - where prisoners smeared excrement over their cell walls - and on ultimately to the hunger strike.
He tells of the pressure he felt seeing his mates slowly starving themselves to death to uphold their principles and the fight for their right to political status. Fresh insights are given into the machinations of the republican leadership for which the author is refreshingly open and critical.
O'Rawes book shines with a masculine humanity and camaradarie, without a trace of self pity, that cannot be beaten even in the most desperate of circumstances.
By any standards this is a well written and important memoir.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - and quite disturbing 1 Mar 2007
By helen
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
To get the chance to read the inside story of the hunger strikers in H-Block is definitely fascinating. Down to the last detail of their banter, their despair, the interaction between the prisoners, and the difficult situation of explaining their motives to even close relatives - it's all there in this fascinating account.

However, O'Rawe also raises the controversial subject of whether the hunger strike could possibly have been brought to an earlier end if the Army Council had been preapred to do so. This difficult issue has been extensively discussed, and many people, most notably Danny Morrison, have contradicted O'Rawe's assessment.

Of course, the "common reader" will not be able to decide where the truth ultimately lies. One thing is for sure, though, O'Rawe's account is honest, direct and - by raising that most difficult issue - deeply disturbing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an insight into a dark period in irish history 16 Jan 2012
By brownie
first of all i would say that richard o`rawe has made a very brave decision to tell the truth about a a period of time that still remains a republican cornerstone in the recent troubles in ulster. to have the courage to write this book and take on sinn fein and other former comrades while still living in west belfast must have been a really hard decision to make and he deserves the highest credit for doing so.
having read his follow up book AFTERLIVES and reading how he has been vindicated by former blanketmen in the h blocks during the same period as blanketmen covers i have no doubt that this book is the real truth about what happened during the second hunger strike and how the last five hunger strikers died for nothing else but for the five that went before them and the rise of sinn fein in politics in ulster.
the recent disclosure of offical goverment papers has also lent great weight to o`rawes book and as a loyalist from west belfast who lived through this period i know what personnal courage it must have taken him to write this book and to let the world know the real truth about these brave mens death
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 20 Aug 2012
I have read many many books about the troubles and the hunger strikes and this is one of the better ones. It is very easy to read and keeps your attention. I would highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight into the H-Block struggle 19 July 2012
By owm22
This book provides a fantastic insight into the H-Block struggle. The author provides his own account of his experiences inside the Maze. A great read for anyone who is interested in Republican struggle.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blanketmen and Hunger Strikers: the naked truth. 21 Dec 2005
I never cease to be amazed at the quality of text produced by those who have in the past been branded as 'mindless criminals' by the British State. Gerry Adams is a writer of exceptional quality, others include Danny Morrison and Lorny McKeown. Richard O'Rawe can now be added to that list. This is a book of exceptional clarity and readability - it is hardly any wonder that O'Rawe was chosen to be the PRO for H3 at the time of the 1981 hunger strike.
The book benefits from having short chapters (of which there are many) and this means that you can make your way through it without interrupting the flow if, like me, you tend to read in spurts rather than long sessions. The book is candid in its treatment of the role of the Army Council during the summer of 1981 and, in particular, that of Gerry Adams. Debate is what politics are all about and others may take a different tack than the one advocated by O'Rawe, but he is sincere about his concerns and this demands some measure of respect. He was, after all, in the front line. I don't personally agree with some of his views on the role of the leadership, particularly given the political gains that have occurred since the election of Bobby Sands, but others might.
If you are interested in the trials and tribulations of the blanketmen and the political machinations behind the 1980 and 1981 hunger strikes, then this is the book for you. I heartily recommend it.
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