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7 Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars American perspective on an Irish war from the front lines, 26 Jan 1999
By A Customer
I loved this book. It was a very interesting story of an American journalist who placed himself on the front line of the conflict in Belfast. While attempting to blend in, he finds himself being questioned by both sides of the "peace wall." He even has an interesting run-in with the IRA. This book is a good read as well as very informative.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Informative AND entertaining., 14 Oct 1997
By A Customer
I found this book at the library in 1993, and have never forgotten it. I had just met an Irish man with a limp, and became interested in learning more about his homeland. I wish I'd read this book before hand, I would have had so many questions for him.
Before reading the book, I had no knowledge of Ireland, the "troubles", the land, or the people and their suffering. I probably wouldn't have finished reading if I had checked out a stale text book or history book. The author's style made all the difference.
All the facts I was hoping to learn were here-woven throughout first-hand accounts from people born and raised in Ireland.
I couldn't stop reading; amazing, since I usually find only fiction this captivating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and timely-a must if you want to understand, 15 April 1998
By A Customer
Conroy recounts his experiences as an American journalist living in Belfast. He masterfully intertwines his spellbinding experiences with the history of "the troubles" in Northern Ireland. This is a superior book for the history reluctant or adversed. Engaging, gripping and intelligent, it is hard to put this book down. This is a "must read" for those preparing to travel to Northern Ireland or those who want to develop a better understanding of the complexities, emotions, history and politics of this divided people. Conroy's insights will expand the readers appreciation of current events in Northern, Ireland.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A realistic, eye opening look at life in Northern Ireland!, 24 Jun 1997
By A Customer
Belfast Diary is a moving, eye opening experience. John Conroy takes you from the viewpoint of a questioning American to an insiders look at life in Northern Ireland. As a part of the Belfast community he takes you through important events with insight and understanding. He helps you understand how a community learns to accept violence as a way of life and how they survive it. This is a MUST read for anyone who is interested in understanding the "troubles", and anyone who cares about the people of Northern Ireland.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe this book is out of print, 18 Jun 2014
By 
A. Feruglio Dal Dan "afdd" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I bought this after reading Conroy's other even more excellent Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People. He is a wonderful writer, and I am shocked both that he hasn't published more and that these books are out of print.

Belfast diary was heartbreaking, funny, horrifying and beautifully written. I cannot vouch for authenticity and thankfully it is now more of a historical document than a current affair piece of journalism, but in the heated atmosphere of NI, this is a candid, generous, outside view of what was going on, from somebody who didn't have a dog in the fight apart from a feeling of empathy for his fellow humans.

If you can find it second hand, or a library, read it. It would be wonderful if an electronic edition were available.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review of John Conroy's Belfast Diary: War As a Way of Life, 16 Oct 2010
Absolutely brilliant. Little gems of information dotted all over this book that otherwise I would not have known. Very objective and an all round interesting read. This does not read anything like a history book, it is quite autobiographical but reads almost like a novel. Very well written. Higly recommend, a great insight into the troubles from a neutral perspective.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a valuable contribution, 22 Mar 1999
By A Customer
I'm grateful for this book. I've read several books about the Troubles, but this was the first told both from an American point of view and a man-on-the-street perspective. _Belfast Diary_ is an important contribution to historical writing. I only wish that some photos had been included. But through this book Americans can begin to understand the motives behind a never-ending civil war.
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Belfast Diary: War as a Way of Life
Belfast Diary: War as a Way of Life by John Conroy (Paperback - Mar 1989)
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