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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inside view on loyalism
The strength of Loyalists, as with Provos and Brits, is the intelligent use of frank interviews with key protagonists. The opening chapter is the fascinating story of a loyalist killer, prisoner, activist and suicide and sets the ground perfectly for an account of loyalism which is accessible and comprehensive and written with both empathy and incisiveness. I disagree...
Published on 13 Nov 2009 by Pablo

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but stodgy account from the Loyalist viewpoint
The nationalists and the IRA have usually got a more sympathetic press coverage than the Loyalists*, despite their atrocities, so it is good to have a book that presents their point of view.

This is not a sympathetic account by any means and, in fact, is a counterweight to the author's previous book "Provos".

It is written in a journalistic way, with...
Published on 30 July 2012 by John Fitzpatrick


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inside view on loyalism, 13 Nov 2009
By 
Pablo (Co. Down/ Navarra) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Loyalists (Paperback)
The strength of Loyalists, as with Provos and Brits, is the intelligent use of frank interviews with key protagonists. The opening chapter is the fascinating story of a loyalist killer, prisoner, activist and suicide and sets the ground perfectly for an account of loyalism which is accessible and comprehensive and written with both empathy and incisiveness. I disagree with the Amazon review critic who says that Taylor acquits Paisley of any terrorist involvement. I think Taylor is more subtle: he accounts how Paisley (and Craig for that matter) incited violence - including paramilitary violence - and then sought to abnegate all responsibility. Taylor recounts the facts, juxtaposes these with Paisley's own comments and leaves it for the reader to form her/his own conclusions. I think Paisley's hypocrisy and doublethink are clearly evident and, in fact, this is one of the books strengths, although for a detailed account of Paisley's responsibility in this respect, one has to read Ed Maloney's book. Taylor's book has a wider focus and provides many insights into the world of loyalism although unfortunately contains quite a number of potentially confusing typos.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blunt, graphic, and an excellent piece of research, 24 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Loyalists (Paperback)
Whilst there have been many books written concerning the republican part in the troubles, this book is an excellent insight to the Protestant and Loyalist people of Northern Ireland.The book is very blunt and does not seek to justify Loyalist activities in the troubles but rather show how certain people became involved through their social and religious upbringings. Taylor has produced a worthwhile follow-up to Provos.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly honest account of Ulsters troubles, 5 April 2002
By 
James Smith (GLASGOW, LANARKSHIRE United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Loyalists (Paperback)
Every now and then a book comes along which captures the reader from page one and does'nt let go until the final sentence.This is one such book.Peter Taylor has managed the impossible when writing about Ulster,he has told the truth.Thousand may disagree about the content but sometimes the truth hurts.Ulsters troubles have been well documented in the past and will be in the future but anyone who has any intrest in Ulster should read this book (and Provos written by the same author)and hope and pray that a lasting peace can be found.Is that too much to ask for ?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but stodgy account from the Loyalist viewpoint, 30 July 2012
By 
John Fitzpatrick (São Paulo, Brazil) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Loyalists (Paperback)
The nationalists and the IRA have usually got a more sympathetic press coverage than the Loyalists*, despite their atrocities, so it is good to have a book that presents their point of view.

This is not a sympathetic account by any means and, in fact, is a counterweight to the author's previous book "Provos".

It is written in a journalistic way, with lots of names, dates and details and presents horrific events in a fairly dispassionate way, leaving opinions and condemnation to others who are quoted.

It also gives no historical background to the events that blew up in Northern Ireland in 1969 and lasted for over 30 years.

In some way, this is good because bookshelves are growing with the weight of works on Irish history.

On the other hand, I think some background would have been a big help and explained why two communities living side by side were prepared to slaughter each other.

It also fails to give enough historical perspective but perhaps that is an unfair criticism of a work that was published only two years after the agreement that "ended" the troubles - or the latest round.

*Perhaps the reasons for this are that the unionists were seen to be standing up for the status quo and their leaders, like Ian Paisley, came over as fanatics. The unionists were also unable to exploit the support of the "Ulster Scots" in America where IRA gunmen like Gerry Adams became heroes to "Irish-Americans" with little knowledge of modern Ireland, particularly Ulster.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The truth about the frustrations felt by Loyalists, 22 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This book is blunt, painfully so in that it is chilling to hear people speak so openly about the atrocities they carried out in N. Ireland during the troubles. What other reviewers have failed to mention in their pro-nationalist writings, is the underlying feeling of alienation that the Loyalist people of Ulster are enduring. On one hand,republicans are relentless in their campaign of bombing and shooting, and on the other, the British Government, giving concession after concession to Sinn Fein/IRA. Add to that the Shankill bombing, Enniskillen, Warrenpoint etc, and one can understand the pent up hatred in the protestant population, manifesting into terrorism for some. This book tries to explain the rationale in the thinking of the people responsible for Loyalist violence, without condemning or condoning it. A good read, it takes its place amongst the numerous books written on republican terrorism
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4.0 out of 5 stars loyalists peter taylor, 15 July 2013
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This review is from: Loyalists (Paperback)
intresting book well written& researched more first hand accounts / interviews would have made this book a classic still reccomended though
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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loyalism for dummies, 29 Jan 2004
This review is from: Loyalists (Paperback)
Tracing the history of Loyalism through all it's colourful history, Taylor presents us with an idiot's guide to Loyalism. However, that does not rule out the possibility that the book holds value for readers already well acquainted with the history and personalities on both sides of the struggle. What it gives us is a more humanitarian spin on the actions that led to the formation of the Loyalist defence groupings around Shankill and Woodvale, groupings with would eventually evolve into ruthless death squads with "kill rates" on a par with Rerpublican counterparts.
Taylor delves into the characters that got the UVF, UDA, and even the Ulster Defence, the group with links to Paisley and the DUP, up and running. What he does not do is devote sufficient attention to the internal feuding that often accompanied the actions of both groups. Nor does he delve into the organised crime activities of Loyalist paramilitaries, activites that are dstroying the communities that their articulate apologists such as David Ervine represent.
Within Loyalism, there have always been class issues simmering beneath the surface as well. Gold Coast Unionists, and the Malone Road brigade (read the likes Trimble and Paisley), have always tried to distance themselves from the actions of the frontline warriors of the Shankill or Sandy Row, while cynically, and succesfully, stirring up hatred from the sidelines. These class and internal division issues are left unexplored, as Taylor seeks to present a picture of communities united by common interest, and of course the clichéd siege mentality that many communities live under.
Something that is being drip-fed to us these days, is the potential level of security force (and probably even political) collusion that went on. With shades of the state terrorism of the GAL in 1980s Spain, the revelations that security forces colluded in, or at best freely and knowingly allowed, import of arms, targeting of victims, and obviously, sectarian killings, such as that of Pat Finucane, collusion could in the future become a hot political potato for many in Ulster and in London. Taylor avoids such intricacies of the Loyalist killing missions, giving, as stated, a more humane approach to the whole thing. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The reader should just undertand that by reading and enjoying this book, they are only scratching the surface of the murky world inhabited by Loyalist paramilitaries.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, 3 Jun 1999
By A Customer
There is no better reporter on Northern Ireland than Peter Taylor.He is one of a rare breed,he reports it as he sees it,he doesn't take sides.This book is no exception.It is quite remarkable,like PROVOS.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Taylor review, 18 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Loyalists (Kindle Edition)
Well researched and very easy to read
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4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hurting, 10 Sep 1999
By A Customer
I don't know why I choose to describe this book as hurting. It would mainly be because many people have lost members of their family to these people and I know they are hurting. However I'm glad that Peter Taylor produced such a book as it spoke out the truth. It also filled in some missing evidence of my own. However parts of the book made out the one murder Billy Gilles to be the victim of what he caused him self. I know that he addmitted to regreting what he did. However after killing a person they don't live with the problems that the family of the young man had to. A daughter who never knew her father. Billy Gilles shouldn't have done the dirty deed. He was a friend to the man he killed he betrayed a good friend. He mentioned through the interview that he has been haunted by what he did. And that he is in a bad dream all the time. Well all I can say is that God will decide if the 'bad'dream could become a nightmare. However FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESSPASS AGAINIST US!!!
BRILLANT BOOK PETER **
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Loyalists by Peter Taylor
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