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Ten Men Dead: Story of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike Paperback – 14 May 1987

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Ten Men Dead: Story of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike + One Day In My Life + Hunger [DVD] [2008]
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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Paperback Edition. edition (14 May 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586065334
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586065334
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

THE INSIDE STORY OF THE 1981 IRISH HUNGER STRIKE, BASED ON THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY CORRESPONDENCE IN PENAL HISTORY

"A fascinating and frightening account, not only of the strike but of the whole Republican ethos, which comes nearer than any previous study to explaining why we are still where we are 18 – or is it 800 – years on."
BELFAST TELEGRAPH

"Gripping"
NEW SOCIETY

"Remarkable… Besides providing a blow-by-blow account of the vicious confrontation between the British government and the IRA, Beresford takes us behind the scenes in a way which has never been done before."
IRISH PRESS

"Extraordinary revelations from both sides"
TIME OUT

"The definitive account of that climactic episode… has unusual power and immediacy."
SUNDAY PRESS

Shocking and moving at once – an electrifying story… If it were a novel, it would have a caption on the back telling the reader: 'You will not be able to put it down'"
FORTNIGHT

"It is one of the very few books that will be read when the present phase of Irish history is over."
MARY HOLLAND, 'Observer'


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By jo on 22 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
I only recently became interested in the northern irish 'troubles', and found this book most informative. at the time i was only a small child so didn't really know any details, so this book was a must read, i found myself thinking and digesting the information even when i wasn't reading it. it's definately thought provoking, a fantastic read that is impossible to put down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Franz Bieberkopf on 9 April 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
David Beresford was the "Guardian" correspondent in Belfast during the time of the H Block hunger strikes in 1980-81.He has had remarkable access to some secret republican archive-though according to Ed Maloney,his access was restricted and censored,probably without his knowledge.
The IRA/INLA prisoners communicated with the outside world though what they called "comms",messages written on cigarette papers and then smuggled out by visitors.This is the archive that Beresford tapped into,and it is most revealing.
He also has interviewed overground leaders in Britain and Ireland,including Catholic Church leaders,and his portrait of them is far from flattering.He recounts how Cardinal O'Fiach once complained to Margaret Thatcher about British press coverage of him, and Mrs. devastatingly said "Well,have you seen what they write about me?"
The claustrophobic nightmare of the H Blocks is well depicted,and at the end,Beresford quotes a comm from an IRA prisoner talking about the need to intensify and develop political activity-even to the extent of imagining a republican MP putting accross Sinn Fein arguments in the House of Commons.Knowingly or unknowingly,this (anonymous)prisoner foresaw the IRA/Sinn Fein strategy from 1981 onwards,which culminated in the 1997 Good Friday agreements,even if Gerry Adams never made it to Westminister in the end.
I read this when it first came out in 1987,I don't know if they're is a new edition.It is great reportage,well worth reading whatever your position on Northern Ireland.Also,in just two years,the British official records of this period will become available to scholars-maybe that is the time for a new edition.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Jay Hoolihan on 26 April 2002
Format: Paperback
Outside of anything eamonn mccann has written this is one of the best books on the troubles.
It's written on the inside track and it's really, really good - well researched, insightful, truthful and candid, it doesn't try to rewrite history or glamourise things and it's beautifully written.
It was very obviously written with extensive co-operation from the guys who were in long kesh when this went down and it has an authenticity and a palpable atmosphere very few other books on the troubles will hope to achieve.
Beresford was able to access the messages smuggled between the POW's and 'Brownie' the contact with the republican leadership on the outside... and the messages are interspersed throughout the book and contrasted against events providing an illuminating, utterly compelling and rarely seen glimpse not just into to unfolding of the events in the kesh during the hunger strike but into the republican psyche.
A fitting tribute to the hunger strikers and a highly recommended book for anyone intrested the 6 counties - whatever political cloth their coat may be cut from.
Oh yes - and remarkably the author is english.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Officer Dibble VINE VOICE on 14 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
"An exercise in journalism" is how the author describes his own book written only six years after the events described (and never updated). It is not a historical work, there is no index or reference source list. The title itself refers to a 'Story' not a 'History'. There is a huge reliance on the cigarette-paper 'comms' that were inserted in every orifice and trafficked in and out of the Maze. As the book progresses, one cannot help wondering whether some of those 'comms' were either edited or written with the intention of future dissemination to a wider audience.

Mr Beresford makes it clear at the outset that he is using the 'language' of Republicanism. As a result, the tone of the book feels sympathetic to the hunger-strikers and their cause.

It is split into ten substantial chapters which very broadly revolve around the ten dead men. For the non-committed reader, this insight into the 'other' nine men, their experience and their autobiographical details is revealing.

The book also gives backgroundt to the causes of the strike whilst not shying away from the debate over whether the strikers were using their own volition, or were acting, to use a rather punchy quote, as 'human armalites'. There is great insight into the protracted, and ultimately crucial, issue of whether the families had the right to take their loved ones 'off'.

Post 1987, this 'journalistic account' still stands up remarkably well, The reader can use it as a springboard for their own further 'historical' research using the benefit of over 30 years of hindsight.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Baggaley on 25 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
Being 11 and living through the troubles we had a lot of upheaval around this time. My Dad was in the british Army and my mum was UDR. I didn't quite understand what was going on at the time and at the age of 17 I read this. I didn't agree with what they were doing and I didn't understand why but after reading this it all became clear. A facinating insight into the goings on of Long Kesh and the hungerstrikers
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