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The Provos: The IRA and Sinn Fein Paperback – 24 Sep 1998


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The Provos: The IRA and Sinn Fein + Loyalists + Brits: The War Against the IRA
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (24 Sep 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747538182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747538189
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Dec 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I wanted to understand how the conflict in N.Ireland could have continued for so long. Peter Taylor is an excellent researcher, broadcaster and writer and his experience of the conflict is second to none. His book is not just another plain factual and political account of the conflict, but about real people. To me, the most disturbing thing about the book is that for the first time I really understood just how easy it was for people, who would otherwise have led normal lives, to become engaged in activities that they would never have contemplated in normal circumstances. This book is an absolute must for anyone wanting really to understand why there has been such conflict and why it has continued for so long.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By lukewatson on 16 July 2010
Format: Paperback
As with many other reviews I read this book to gain a better understanding of the conflict that has raged for so many years, both on and off our shores. After watching the documentary of the same name, I purchased the book and found it to be informative, unbiased and exceptionally well written. You can truly appreciate the ammount of research and work that Peter Taylor has put into this book and I feel that the style in which he interjects the narrative with interviews and accounts from eye witnesses, IRA Volunteers, Republican and Loyalist politicians as well as accounts from British Intelligence agencies at the time. A brilliant study and I look forward to reading the additional two books in support of this one, 'Brits' and 'Loyalists'.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By SueCath on 21 Sep 2006
Format: Paperback
Peter Taylor's TV series were highly impressive and his books even better. He's a courageous reporter who has managed to track down many of the leading provos and, most importantly, got them to relate their history in as revealing and provocative a way as possible. Taylor is always quick to detect subtexts within his history and his detachment and determination to uncover the truth are admirable. There are, of course, countless partisan accounts of the Troubles but this manages to sound balanced without ever becoming bland. He is to be congratulated for one of the best books yet written on this difficult subject.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alan Nolan on 11 Mar 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent description of an extremly difficult subject. The author clearly has a vast understanding of the conflict and imparts this is an unbiased way (clearly expressing when it is his opinion or when its proven fact). A great introductory read into the complex world of northern Ireland
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 April 1999
Format: Paperback
Many journalists parachute into an issue, write their byline, and disappear when the next round of flack begins. Not so Peter Taylor, who in staying with Northern Ireland for almost a generation is a reporter who gives journalism a good name. He has not only produced substantial television series on both the IRA and Loyalist terroristism, but is aware that despite the evident advantage of using television to explain life's complexities many of the subtleties may need to be further developed in prose. This is not however a book of the television series, but stands on its own right as a deeply researched analysis of not just the history of the IRA but of the political mindview within which they work. Taken in conjunction with his equivalent and more recent book on Loyalist terrorists Peter Taylor has ensured that no one in Britain (or Ireland) can now excuse their lack of understanding by maintaining that no-one has seen fit to provide a suitably accessible study of the protagonists. If you want to know why the political extremists have come in from the cold and seem now engaged in political rather than military campaigns you can do no better than read Peter Taylor.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pablo on 15 May 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The strength of this book is the author's extensive interviews with IRA members, who give their feelings and opinions on a wide range of issues at numerous key points between the 1960s and 1998. Near the start of the book we have republicans talking openly and honestly about their background and why they joined the movement. Thus follows a history of the provisionals in which the players are real human beings rather than demonised psychopaths, and we thus gain insights into their doubts, fears, regrets, motivation and morale. Interesting inside accounts range from an IRA man targeted for recruitment by British Intelligence to the republican experience of the Milltown cemetery attack. Coverage of the hunger strikes is detailed and thorough and accounts of the negotiations between the British government and the IRA include hitherto unpublished IRA minutes of secret meetings. Taylor is not afraid to ask the IRA about their attitude to killing, and bombings such as Bloody Friday in Belfast. Their responses are here, so you can judge for yourself. The principal weak point of the book is the account of the split in the IRA which gave birth to the provisionals. This important development is incompletely and unclearly treated and, significantly, there are no Official IRA voices to provide a balance of views on the split.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. Bayne on 16 Feb 2005
Format: Paperback
A comprehensive history of the IRA from the days of Patrick Pearse in 1916 right through to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. For someone like myself that had little prior knowledge of the Republican Movement in Ireland this book offered a straightforward account of the Provisional IRA and Sinn Fein's actions, policies, and philosophy, during the troubles in Northern Ireland. An excellent starting point for anyone wanting to understand the turbulent nature of Ulster politics.
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