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Hillsborough - The Truth [Paperback]

Professor Phil Scraton
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 April 2009

Hillsborough: The Truth was first published in 1999 to universal acclaim. Established as the definitive, unique account of the disaster in which 96 men, women and children died, hundreds were injured and thousands were traumatised, it details the appalling treatment endured by the bereaved and survivors in the immediate aftermath and the inhumanity of the identification process.

The book reveals the inadequacies of the police investigations, official inquiries and inquests, and uncovers the systematic review and alteration of South Yorkshire police statements conducted with the approval of police investigators and Lord Justice Taylor's inquiry. It also examines the subsequent private prosecution and trial of two senior police officers in 2000. Using verbatim accounts, Scraton's analysis demonstrates the inadequacy of legal processes and the remarkable breadth of judicial discretion undermining and inhibiting such cases.

Powerful, disturbing and harrowing, Hillsborough: The Truth exposes the institutional complacency that made a tragedy on this scale inevitable. It shows the law's failure to provide appropriate means of access, disclosure and redress for those facing the consequences of institutional neglect and personal negligence. And it tells how ordinary people suffer when those in authority sacrifice truth and accountability to protect their reputations.

In this new edition, Scraton reflects critically on two decades of legal and policy reform, on the long-term consequences of media-hyped, untruthful allegations made against Liverpool fans, and on the continuing strugglesof the bereaved and survivors who have campaigned relentlessly for truth, acknowledgement and justice.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845964950
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845964955
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 232,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"This book is dynamite. A brilliant achievement, a real page-turner" (Jimmy McGovern)

"A painful but compelling read . . . an impressive amount of new information [which] should be compulsory reading for everybody in football" (The Sunday Times)

"I read this book in a fog of anger . . . A scarcely believably story of incompetence and mendacity" (The Independent)

"It cannot fail to make anyone who reads it feel shocked and furious" (Sunday Mirror)

"An invaluable summary of the availably evidence" (When Saturday Comes)

Book Description

Published to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster, which took place on 15 April 1989

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than one tragedy. 14 April 2009
I have just finished 'Hillsborough - The Truth' by Phil Scraton and what an eye opener it is. I thought I knew nearly everything about what went on on the day and the following cover up but I didn't realise to what lengths South Yorkshire Police went to to cover their tracks.

Not only were police statements altered but the fact that those people who knew the law and how the justice system works used those processes to hide behind and thwart attempts by those that had lost loved ones to seek the truth about how their loved one died. A justice system that is supposed to be there to help us being used as a weapon against those in such a vunerable position.

Later on both Michael Howard and Jack Straw also wielded the sword of justice against the families whilst pretending to be fighting for them. Kelvin McKenzie is a scum bag and maggot and deserves some sort of come uppance but those in power who were there to protect us and failed so utterly should hold their heads in shame. They could have righted a wrong but instead they made it worse.

Never forget the 96 and never settle for anything less than the full truth and full justice.

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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
On the one hand it is difficult not to praise this book to the skies, while at the same time wishing it had never had to be written
Not only is it a brilliant factual account, it manages to develop a sense of anger in the reader at the injustices and indignities endured by the families of the victims over the last 10 years.
The author does this without resorting to sensationalism or sentimentality, which is remarkable given his personal involvement in the case as a member of the Hillsborough Project.
He manages to write with a dignity and eloquence that is a fitting testament to the people who died, and is in marked contrast to the behaviour of the South Yorkshire Police and the disgraceful reporting of the case in the British Press.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
First class! I have never had so many different emotions reading just one book before, this is definately a must read for everyone. From someone closely associated with Hillsborough and the aftermath this is an extremely well balanced piece of work. I have lent my copy to a few of my friends who have been equally disturbed by the years of aftermath suffered by all the famillies and survivors. The only thing missing, I think, must be a plan of the ground at Hillsborough which would have made the desciptions of Gate C and the control box etc easier to follow especially to those unfamilier with the ground.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I have been a life-long Liverpool fan. On the 15th of April 1989, I remember very clearly seeing the first TV reports on Grandstand that there were "crowd problems" at the Liverpool/Forest semi-final. As the full horror of the events unfolded, I just found myself staring in dis-belief at every news report as the death toll mounted. Those events have stayed with me.
I say this because this book contains first hand accounts of survivors of the tragedy as well as relatives/friends of the victims and it is only through these accounts that one can begin to feel the real pain and sense of loss. My feelings about Hillsborough became insignificant after reading the feelings of those involved.
What was interesting, though, was that whilst I followed the subsequent legal processes after Hillsborough, it was never given the coverage it warranted in the media. I am glad that I now know the full detail of all the proceedings, including what sounds like a harrowing inquest procedure.
I was deeply moved moved by this book, and would like to, if there is any small way, help the victims of Hillsborough find "their justice".
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and hard-hitting. A MUST read 22 Jun 2004
I think that this has to be one of the most moving and thought-provoking books that I have ever read. It is well balanced, sympathetically written and extremely informative - a lasting tribute to the poor souls who lost their lives. And I wish to God that it never had to be written.
The description of what happened on the actual day is shocking and hard hitting but is done in the most sensitive and non-gratuitous way. He shows the utmost respect for those unfortunate enough to be involved, whilst at the same time conveying the awful truth as vividly as any photograph. I finished the book feeling angry and disturbed and wanting to do something, but not knowing what
My only criticism is that a plan of the ground would have been really helpful. Being unfamiliar with football stadia, I had difficulty understanding the layout of the ground. That aside, it is a faultless account that anyone interested in truth and justice should read.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking and upsetting, but a must read 7 Oct 2005
By A Customer
I read this book to get an understanding of Hillsborough as I was young when it happened, my husband was there as a 14 year old Liverpool fan. I am disgusted at how Liverpool fans were percieved and persecuted as a result of a chain reaction of poor decisions, ignorance and passing the buck took 96 lives. Everyone should read this book who wants to know how we all put our lives in the hands of people we should be able to trust, only to be let down time and time again. Its given me a very cynical view of the police in particular. I only hope The familes of those who died get their deserved justice one day.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth as it is
It show's a massive cover up, should be made a compulsory read to all football fans. Rest and god bless those who never came home from a football match. YNWA 96.
Published 3 months ago by Don Purvis
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the truth
Could not put this book down.If you had any doubts about hillsborugh this is the truth i could not believe the cover up thats gone on .
Published 3 months ago by Patsy McDonough
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and deeply moving.
Anybody interested in how the state machine operates to protect itself should read this: a moving and harrowing read. From somebody who was there, this really presents how it was.
Published 3 months ago by windhover
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opener
Being Canadian and in my early thirties, I knew nothing about the Hillsborough disaster until recently. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mokabear
5.0 out of 5 stars if you want terraces back in football read this book
an amazing book but wish it never had to be written, JFT96 you will never walk alone...always in our thoughts
Published 8 months ago by chezzac
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all football fans
This book is well researched and although pretty harrowing it is a must read if you want to understand why this tragedy happened and why the families and survivors have campaigned... Read more
Published 10 months ago by PAUL ROBBO
5.0 out of 5 stars Review
Following the recent availability of information to the families I was horrified to hear of the cover ups I wanted to understand it more. Read more
Published 12 months ago by jc
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking yet compelling read
I have always been shocked by this tragedy and wanted a book that accurately states the events as they happened. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mike Whelan
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
I bought the book for more in depth detail about the tragedy and the cover up, The book gave all the facts and explained every problem the families faced at each stage. Read more
Published 14 months ago by les
5.0 out of 5 stars 20th Century Scandal
As the new enquiry is about to unfold this book gave a real insight into the shortfall of various departments that were associated with this FA cup semi-final in 1989. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mr. John C. Harding
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