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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The gift of victory
This book left me wanting to learn more about this era,however it is not about cromwell instead it tells of the irish royalist high command in a clear easy to read way,brave,underfunded,divided, apart from courage unable to meet a fighting machine like the new model army on a level footing.Cromwell is given fair treatment and at the same time the brutal side of war is not...
Published on 29 July 2010 by David McIntyre

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8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars QUESTION THE AUTHOR
Not impartially reported or written. Fails to explain in depth the reasons Cromwell done what he done.Am trying to find another author to balance the argument.I had the feeling the author just hated Cromwell.As an Northern Irish man I know there was much more to Cromwell and this work failed to address that side of the issue.
Published on 26 April 2013 by Amazon Customer


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The gift of victory, 29 July 2010
By 
David McIntyre (Durham UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: God's Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland (Paperback)
This book left me wanting to learn more about this era,however it is not about cromwell instead it tells of the irish royalist high command in a clear easy to read way,brave,underfunded,divided, apart from courage unable to meet a fighting machine like the new model army on a level footing.Cromwell is given fair treatment and at the same time the brutal side of war is not brushed over. reccomended by this interested layman.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another piece in the Irish Jigsaw, 30 Dec. 2010
By 
Geoff Buck (Newton Abbot, Devon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: God's Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland (Paperback)
The cover of the book is misleading in that there is not very much about Cromwell apart from his bloody suppression of Drogheda. However, it does cover the complicated relationships in Irish history in the 1640s and 1650s, and it does put in context the almost visceral hatred that the Irish have of Cromwell. What O'Siochru does evidence is that there were brutalities committed by all sides (confederate, royalist and parliamentarian) and both religions (Catholic and Protestant), and that thousands of soldiers fought for many sides as the battles and wars ebbed and flowed - as well as fighting for some of the European armies in their wars too. Many ended up fighting what was essentially guerrilla warfare in the 1650s.
The book is well-written and relatively easy to follow, with a number of useful maps. There are thirty pages of notes and twenty pages of bibliography for anyone who wishes to investigate more deeply.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great read., 1 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: God's Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland (Paperback)
Well researched and academically referenced yet not too 'heavy' for the non academics with an interest in Irish history. I really enjoyed it.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine example of historical writing, 17 Jan. 2012
This review is from: God's Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland (Paperback)
Ó Siochrú's goal was to shed new light on Cromwell while avoiding the two extremes of glorifying the man as many have done, or condemning him to the depths of hell as a monster. Indeed, in his closing remarks Ó Siochrú notes, `Cromwell was no monster, but he did commit monstrous acts.' (p. 250). While the reader can certainly tell where his sympathies lie, Ó Siochrú maintains a more academic approach to Cromwell rather than an extremist one. This is not to say that Ó Siochrú is completely without bias. While he does not explicitly outline his own personal stance, he does not hide it either. Also, to observe the writing style of God's executioner as being more story than textbook is not to claim that Ó Siochrú wrote an un-academic work of history. On the contrary, God's executioner is arranged in a much more approachable manner than the majority of historical texts while still maintaining the level of historical professionalism that is expected. Ó Siochrú fluidly moves through the chapter subjects and the sources he utilizes are all contemporary writers of Cromwell and well placed to enhance his points and justify his own claims. All in all, God's executioner proves to be a well written history of Oliver Cromwell and his involvement in Ireland. It is certainly a must have for anyone who studies early modern Ireland or are interested in the subject.
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8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars QUESTION THE AUTHOR, 26 April 2013
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This review is from: God's Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland (Paperback)
Not impartially reported or written. Fails to explain in depth the reasons Cromwell done what he done.Am trying to find another author to balance the argument.I had the feeling the author just hated Cromwell.As an Northern Irish man I know there was much more to Cromwell and this work failed to address that side of the issue.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 July 2014
This review is from: God's Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland (Paperback)
Excellent
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13 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cromwellians and Ireland, 2 Jan. 2012
This review is from: God's Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland (Paperback)
I hesitate about whether I should give only one star to this rather astonishing book because, if read with caution, it does contain useful information

What is astonishing is that this kind of propaganda literature is still being written by a professor at a prestigious Irish university, long after serious scholars have begum to present fuller, many-sided, and balanced views of Irish history. An historian must ask himself this basic question, Was Cromwell's intervention in Ireland, on balance, good or bad for the whole of Ireland? The answer must surely be that it was beneficial, taking the interests of all groups, and the nation as a whole, into consideration. By far the most important of these groups was the ordinary Catholic working classes who formed 90% of the population. The big losers were the rapacious Catholic chiefs and their hangers-on, the political clergy.

Yet a book containing such a view would not sell well in the professor's target readership, the Catholic Irish diaspora in the United States. And it was this diaspora which funded terrorist campaigns in Ireland over the past 150 years. What that readership requires is a rehash of nationalist propaganda to enhance their cherished status of victim-hood. A propaganda version of history is easily constructed, without telling lies, by treating exclusively on the good points of your own side and the bad points of your opponent's side. Dr Goebbels, Hitler's Minister for Propaganda, was a master of this.

When in addition, anachronistic terms like 'colonial administration' are used to prejudice the reader, less confidence is placed in the author's judgment.There was in fact an Irish Government staffed largely by Irishmen in existence, and had been for 500 years. It had greater legitimacy than the United States congress. It was not the aim of the Catholic lords and chiefs to overthrow a colonial administration and to secure an independent Ireland. Nor was it their aim to restore the purity of the Catholic religion. Their aims were simply to get back their lands and their positions of importance as they had been before the Reformation in England. Because the Irish Protestant Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Ormonde, a royalist, for obvious reasons, could not agree to this, they refused to back him against the parliamentary forces, and had only themselves to blame for the subsequent debacle. The Catholic lords and chiefs, when drawing the sword, were perfectly aware it was a gamble. The welfare of those who worked their lands never crossed their minds. Yet these were the people who paid the greatest price. The chiefs got off lightly. Most retained large parts of their lands and were allowed to enlist in foreign armies.

The problem with Ó Siochru, is that he was never, strange as it may seem, been exposed to institutions where an alternative view of Irishness prevails. Places like The Queen's University of Belfast, or the Irish regiments in the British Army. Finally, a last quibble, why does he use a Gaelic for of his name when an English equivalent exists? Surely he does not believe in the existence of the mythical Celtic race?

I was reared in the atmosphere of Catholic nationalism in Northern Ireland and as a boy believed all the tenets of romantic Catholic nationalism. Yet I had the good fortune to attend the Queen's University of Belfast where I met scholars who were reared in a different tradition. One could not deny their scholarship so one had to open the mind to alternative interpretations. This book gives no indication of an opening of the mind. Avoid.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Historical Perspective, 12 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: God's Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland (Paperback)
To my shame, it has taken me far too long to review this excellent book. It tackles a difficult subject well and is highly informative to anyone who wishes to know more about those dark, misguided times.
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2 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars CROMWELL IRELAND, 11 Feb. 2010
By 
B. H. King (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: God's Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland (Paperback)
a very interesting book' It clearly gives the history of Cromwell's incursion into Ireland during the parliamentarian rule during/after the civil war. Good value.
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God's Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland
God's Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland by Dr Micheál Ó Siochrú (Paperback - 4 Jun. 2009)
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