The strength of Peter Hart's book is that it contains much empirical data in the form of tables, charts etc., that would save any researcher into this period considerable time. Some have aptly described it as 'forensic'. However, its great weakness is its cherry picking of the results. Two central pillars of his work - his claim that Tom Barry was a serial killer who ordered a massacre at Kilmicheal and that protestants were shot in Dunmanway in a sectarian war, have been called heavily into question recently. It now seems he was wrong on both counts, inexcusable for someone who had taken such meticulous care in assembling the data. Those interested in finding out more should see eg. Ryan, Meda. 'Tom Barry - IRA Freedom Fighter'. Mercier Press. Cork: 2003. There are also innumerable articles and reviews posing the same questions, which researchers relying on Hart's work should be aware of. His book has ushered in new standards of historical research in this area however, despite its shortcomings in dealing with the information at its disposal. I would give it more stars except for the fact that it reneges on its own methodology in ignoring facts that don't fit the theory.