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Joe Cahill: A Life in the IRA Paperback – 1 Oct 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: O'Brien Press Ltd; New edition edition (1 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0862788366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0862788360
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.9 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 508,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Fascinating profile of a unique rebel"--"The Fermanagh Herald"

About the Author

Brendan Anderson was born in Belfast in 1945. He has covered all the big stories of the Irish troubles, and interviewed and questioned all of the major players. He has had unrivalled contacts with republicans and loyalists, and is frequently interviewed as a security analyst on Irish and British television and radio, and consulted by British newspapers.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By marcella 1981 on 9 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is the story of the incredible life of a remarkable and selfless man. Whenever the press talk about republicans they always set great store on someone who comes from a 'traditional' republican background or one whose family is steeped in that tradition. I have to admit that this irks me somewhat in that its reinforces the view that those people who come from a 'traditional' republican background are somehow more worthy than those of us whose republican credentials do not extend back to the days of Wolfe Tone. Denis Donaldson has demonstrated that it matters not a jot whether you come from a traditional background or not, it is how you conduct your own life that counts. However Joe Cahill came from a traditional republican background and, unlike Donaldson, lived up to the ideals that this tradition engendered. The scale of Mr. Cahills involvement is almost unbelievable and his biography is almost a pocket history of Irish nationalism over the last eighty years. A man of the upmost integrity, this book not only provides an insight into the man himself, but into the events that shaped the modern peace process. For that alone it is worth a good read. Mr Cahill's reluctace to tell the whole story behind some of these events or to name some of the individuals involved did not detract from the book, but I have to admit to feeling a bit sad that these were details which will now probably never be known.
The republican cause dominated Mr Cahill's life and to this end I had to feel sorry for his wife and their six children who, in their own way lost much of their fathers presence to the cause of Irish nationalism. Mrs Cahill must herself be a truly remarkable woman.
Should you buy this book - absolutely! If you are interested in the modern histroy of the IRA and Irish republicanism in general, then this book is an absolute must.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Jan. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Firstly, not everyone is going to be attracted by the notion of a biography of Joe Cahill, a leading figure in the IRA in particular, and the republican movement in general for nearly 70 years: and that's a shame. For, as authorised biographies go, this is one of the best and, given the constraints under which the author had to write it, and the details which he has clearly been pressured into omitting, it is hard to imagine the book being any better.
For the first time a book has given me the most enlightening insight into how somebody feels motivated enough to resort to violence when all political and non violent options seem to be exhausted. That doesn't mean I'm now a fervent advocate of Cahill but it is one of the book's strengths that it presents Cahill's story as he wishes it to be told (fair enough, given that it is authorised) but equally, doesn't goad the reader into taking up a pro or anti stance to it's subject. How you respond to Cahill is entirely up to you and there are times where, despite understanding the bigotry and hardship that he and his family and friends endured in the early years and why that led him on the path it did, the reader is still aware that Cahill is still behind some pretty nasty stuff himself. In fact this is a book which, despite gaps in the overall narrative, reveals a lot more about Cahill in what it doesn't say because Cahill's life is expertly contextualised by the author into the overall historical picture of the North of Ireland from the 1920's to the present day.
Brendan Anderson has been accused in some quarters of glorifying republicanism and indulging in hero worship of his subject: this is a nonsense.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Leadbetter on 18 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Great book about true dedication to the Irish Republican cause despite the attempts by the brits to firstly hang him then imprison him on many occasions.
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Format: Paperback
i have an autographed copy of this book,i ordered from the sinn fein bookstore,i would highly recommend it.he tells of being condemned to death,and how his friend tom williams was hanged in 1941,and his life in the cause after he was released,and the part he played in the peace process
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