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Rory Francis (Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales)

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Big Fellow, Long Fellow
Big Fellow, Long Fellow
by T. Ryle Dwyer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye-opener as well as a page-turner, 19 Aug. 2007
I can enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand more about that tempestuous decade of Irish history between 1915 and 1925, the personalities behind the events and the forces that shaped them.

Before I read this book, I simply could not understand how Collins and De Valera could have let the Civil War happen, and how the Sinn Féin movement that had worked together so effectively against the British could have imploded in such acrimony. Having read the book I can begin to see how it all happened, how Collins made the mistake, arguably, of agreeing to Dev's request that he go to London as a member of the delegation that negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty, while Dev stayed back in Dublin, sniping on the sidelines.

The book also explains how, to be fair, Dev did not really start the Civil War, but merely strove to be seen to be the leader of the Republican side when hot heads like IRA officer Rory O'Connor repudiated the Dáil and occupied the Four Courts building in Dublin in 1922.

This book is a rollicking good read, and eye-opener as well as a page-turner. My only reservation is that, due to its size, the print in the paper-back version that I read is of necessity quite small. If a larger version had been available, I would have bought it.


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