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Error of Judgement: the Birmingham Bombings Hardcover – 17 Jul 1986

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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£166.52 £14.60
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus; First Edition edition (17 July 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701129786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701129781
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 15 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 816,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

The truth about the Birmingham Bombings - the story of how six innocent men were convicted of the biggest murder in British history. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read this book about 30 years after the event. I was unfortunate enough to be in between the two bombs when they went off. I discovered (through reading this book), that one of the bombers was sitting right behind me in the Odeon Cinema, on the night of the event! It sent shivers up my spine! As the child of two Irish parents, I (surprisingly) felt somewhat unbiased whilst reading it. I thought how brave Chris Mullin was to attempt to track down the men responsible via the IRA. If you know anything about the people or the event, this is a must read!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The event in this book occurred just down the street from where I was studying in Central Birmingham on the fateful night in November 1974 for my exams. I recall very well the height of anti-Irish feelings after the event and euphoria when the arrests so shortly after the bombings were announced as well as the fear that pervaded in Birmingham for many months after the event whether you were Irish or non-Irish - in many ways a very small but chilling precedent for how I suspect much of NYC felt after 9/11 in 2001. Indirectly in his chronological depiction of events, Mullins book brought many of those memories back for me nearly 40 years later.

Mullins book is meticulous and honest on where it all went wrong (especially at the trial) for the six accused. His subsequent involvement in tracking down the real perpetrators as well as challenging the forensic evidence is the stuff of which the late Ludovic Kennedy would have been envious in righting a wrong trial decision. As is known the final successful end was the concerns over the forensic evidence (versus how confessions were obtained) finally achieved the release of the falsely accused six many years later.

What hit me most on re-reading the book in 2010 was first that it was the West Midland police force who were later the subject of endless subsequent enquiries over other questionable investigations they had been involved in, who were the key persons driven by the faulty forensic evidence that started the whole error of judgement rolling. In turn a judiciary whose application of objectivity in various judgements versus pragmatic decisions as to what was right for UK society sadly reflects more recent concerns over the role of the Courts in cases of personal liberty.
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Format: Hardcover
My (1987) copy was published & printed four years before 'the six' were finally freed so it doesn't end on the high note that later editions were able to.

Mullins drew a lot of flack at the time for 'sympathising with the bombers'. Well, it turned out that he was right. The confessions were forcibly obtained and the crucial Griess tests were flawed.

We were all outraged at these dreadful acts but, unfortunately the police allowed their outrage to cloud their objectivity and sense of justice. There really were no winners in this.

There can be little doubt that this book contributed greatly to the final appeal outcome. Books rarely manage to get results as dramatic as this. Perhaps only Ludovic Kennedy's '10 Rillington Place' can match this one for accomplishment.

A riveting read but not a bundle of laughs.

Barry
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very interesting. Need to do more research now to find out what happened later. Also worth reading Chris Mullin's diaries.
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