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Customer Review

on 15 September 1999
A really great insight into the recent 'troubles' - such honesty and courage does not come often in book form. Why? Let me explain, briefly. We hear on the UK media, a bomb here, a bomb there. What can we really make of such erratic behaviour? In unravelling a few of the myths of Republicanism , see page 10, the reader will come away with the best re-interpretation of this behaviour I have seen for ages. This book is all about the interpretation of strategy and many of the misunderstandings about the tactics. Criticising the 'long war' - the wearing down of the British so they withdraw- O'doherty is not here espousing a political way forward so much as pointing out inconsistencies.
For that reason this book is sad as is the tragedy of N. Ireland and its political stalemate. Sad, yes, because at present times so much of the peace effort towards an internal settlement seems here highly improbable given irrevocable Republican strategy. O'Doherty is critical not so much of the ideal of Irish unity, see page 204, but of its promotion through the use of violence. No future either for any kind of ethnically divisive politics in that the picture of oursleves as human beings first is paramount. In that unstartling 'conclusion' this book is a resounding note for commonsense. But how can we get away from the notion of the 'two communities' idea so prevalent in govt. policy eg. the Anglo-Irish agreement?
Unfortunately, not to rise to the sectarian bait of the 'otherside', is going to take more than this book, great as it is, to really change hearts and minds towards real peace.
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