13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A gruesome but unique book on the NI conflict,
This review is from: Killing Rage (Paperback)
I have read probably too many books on NI but this is the one I would recommend above all others since it is an amazing insight into how a terrorist(there is no other word that does Collins actions justice)mind evolved in that environment.
It is easy to criticise what the man did or the widespread pain and horror his deeds created (or might have if they had all succeeded!) but that is to miss the point as to why this book is so powerful. It is a unique and well documented "inside" biography of how an educated RC working in a trusted position for the Customs Service in NI used that position driven by his own personal experiences to set up people to be executed or property destroyed(Collins never fired a gun or set off a bomb)and in large part was driven by a very naive peronal socialist revolutionary view of Ireland's future, given the innate conservatism of the RC and Protestant cultures.
The book is just a gripping read helped by Collins honesty, even if on occasions he comes across to a distant observer who was not caught up in the emotion of these events as a little self justifying.
The one abiding message learnt is that the IRA is an organisation without a cohesive strategy but due to ongoing local community support can be weakened but never destroyed in full by the Government and Army. This situation has worsened especially since Sinn Fein started using the popular vote at the ballot box after the 1980s Hunger Strike deaths to allow leaders like Gerry Adams to distance itself from them. That to keep it's grip on the RC community the IRA is as crude as their opposites the UVF and their whole approach to any threat is a violent reaction ("knee capping" or "nutting")is well known, but what Collins conveys very well is their continual usage of people who by their actions and attitude created risk and dangers for many including Collins. How a person in such a unique and sensitive position as Collins was then let sell IRA newspapers every weekend is just one of the many sad examples.
This book is a true and memorable record of both the personal tragedy for Collins who the IRA were quick to disown after he escaped being sent to jail at trial and who was killed by the IRA several years after the book was finished and Northern Ireland as a country devastated by such actions.
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Initial post: 7 Apr 2008 20:18:38 BDT
Ceara McKeag says:
After reading these helpful reviews i think i will purchase this book for an excellent read and an Intresting insight to Our country's past and some what present!! Thanks to all those who gaved a review.
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