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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive book for newcomers to Ulster history.
Martin Dillon is a fantastic analytical writer who does not shy away from the use masses of relevant detail. Instead of regurgitating pieces of text and information by passing it through his own editorial, he often includes the original transcripts of interviews, documents and even a complete printing of the IRA's 'Green Book', which is difficult to come by...
Published on 24 Jun. 2010 by J.C.D.

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a good book
Have to agree with the negative reviews.

This and the author's "Dirty War" start with the ludicrous claim that the author has daringly exposed what was actually fairly well-known British colonial counterinsurgency doctrine and how this led to all sorts of dirty tricks. There are much, much better accounts of this area, including Peter Taylor's "Brits" and the...
Published on 7 Jun. 2010 by R. Hughes


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3.0 out of 5 stars good book pity he's biased, 23 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Trigger Men: Assassins and Terror Bosses in the Ireland Conflict (Kindle Edition)
I have read several books on the troubles and this is one of the better,clearly a good writer but the writer forgets the innocents on both sides in this book
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5.0 out of 5 stars i like it, 22 Feb. 2013
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It's a very interesting book,with a hard work of investigation.
I recomend totally the purchase of this item
Very well alltogheter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You won't put this down..., 18 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The Trigger Men: Assassins and Terror Bosses in the Ireland Conflict (Kindle Edition)
This book was up there with the best I've read on the conflict...so good I've bought it twice 2nd copy for my Samsung Kindle app
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another informative education from the troubles, 11 Jun. 2015
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This review is from: The Trigger Men: Assassins and Terror Bosses in the Ireland Conflict (Kindle Edition)
Governments on the mainland and in NI have a lot to answer for. How can some of the people responsible sleep at night?
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Old material recycled under false pretences, 25 May 2010
By 
Pablo (Co. Down/ Navarra) - See all my reviews
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The bulk of this book is a recycling of material published by Dillon elsewhere. The stories of Lennie Murphy, Michael Stone plus a variety of 'Dirty War' figures are presented in summary form with little or nothing new added. What then is the justification of this book's existence (apart from the obvious profit motive)? Dillon ostentatiously proclaims that "this book examines their (the trigger men's) social and family backgrounds, as well as historical factors which helped shape them into cold-blooded killers...It provides answers as to why they were imbued with inherited prejudice and blind hate". It actually does nothing of the sort. For all his skill as an investigative reporter, Dillon is a non-starter in the psychological/sociological arena. For example, he talks about Stone's "innate narcissism" - on what grounds is it innate? The same analytical weakness is evident in his use of vacuous terms like "instinctively criminal". His observation that "Stone has many of the personality characteristics of...Lenny Murphy" is vague and superficial and his comment that "I was only beginning to get inside his (Stone's) head", insofar as it implies that he later manages to do so is pompously arrogant in view of the shallowness of his 'psychological observations' (if that's not a misnomer).
Insofar as only one of the 12 chapters of the book focuses on a republican 'trigger man', there is undoubtedly an unbalance in the book, but even more debilitating is Dillon's complete lack of empathy with (and frequent antipathy towards) his subjects. For example, the only case history to provide new and interesting information on its subject is the (opening) chapter on Billy Wright (Dillon having recently managed to interview Wright's sister in the US). It emerges that Wright had a horrendously traumatic childhood in which his sisters were raped 'in care' (which he knew about) and in which he himself was probably subjected to sexual abuse. In approved school at 12 and into the junior ranks of the UVF on his release at 13, it is clear that we have a case of a traumatised teenager, yet Dillon chooses to refer to him as a "young thug", before shifting into the more comfortable area of whether or not Wright was a "terrorist agent". With his lack of empathy, absence of sociological and psychological knowledge and tabloidish language, it is patently clear that Dillon is simply not equipped to carry out a sociohistorical study.
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4.0 out of 5 stars gunmen, 1 May 2015
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This review is from: The Trigger Men: Assassins and Terror Bosses in the Ireland Conflict (Kindle Edition)
dillon has an exellent grip on terrorism /gangsters in northern ireland look forward to the next one .
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5.0 out of 5 stars great read, a must if you like to read about the history of the troubles.., 14 July 2014
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mamamiss the most normalGreat book for a great price, interesting !!!! love Martin Dillon's books....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 21 Mar. 2015
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My boyfriend said this was an incredible book and brilliant read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 12 April 2015
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This review is from: The Trigger Men: Assassins and Terror Bosses in the Ireland Conflict (Kindle Edition)
A repeat of his other work
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25 of 43 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good but biased, 18 Aug. 2004
By 
Peter McGuiness (County Sligo, Eire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Trigger Men (Hardcover)
Make no mistake - this is a good book on the Troubles. But it is also heavily biased in favour of Irish Republicanism, with deliberate omissions included to favour Dillon's agenda. Examples? Well, read the book and you'll come away thinking the murdered solicitor, Pat Finucane, was an innocent apolitical solicitor crusading for human rights in Ulster. Sorry - he wasn't. Sean O'Callaghan (former IRA Chief of Staff) has recently revealed that Finucane was actually a senior IRA volunteer. Oh, by the way, Finucane's brother John was killed whilst on active service with the IRA`in the Falls Road in 1972. His brother Dermot was a member of the IRA`who fought successfully a Brit extradition request to have him sent back to the North from Dublin. And a third brother, Seamus, (IRA member who served time for terrorist offences) was the fiancee of Mairead O'Farrell, the IRAwoman shot dead in Gibraltar whilst recceing a plot to murder innocent civilians and army bandsmen. None of this is mentioned in Dillon's book, amazingly. Why not? It's common knowledge in Northern Ireland. Presumably revealing these facts would dent Dillon's presentation of Finucane as a crusading human rights champion cut down by the British state.
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