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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  613 ratings  ·  27 reviews
This updated edition of the best-selling history of the IRA now includes behind-the-scenes information on the recent advances made in the peace process. With clarity and objectivity, Coogan examines the IRA's origins, its foreign links, bombing campaigns, hunger strikes and sectarian violence and its role in the latest attempts to bring peace to Northern Ireland. Meticulou ...more
Paperback, 864 pages
Published January 5th 2002 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 1959)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,338)
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John and Kris
I finally slogged my way through this beast. The cover is pretty close to the best part.

Full Disclosure: Since first learning about the Irish Republican Army I have been curious in a romantic sort of way. I was first introduced to the The Troubles when visiting London for the first time in 1992. At the formative age of 11 my interest was piqued when I saw Heathrow swarming with machine gun armed police and repetitive warning messages about unattended bags. We were no longer in pre-September 11t
Nicholas Whyte
The first edition of this book was published in 1969, and the pre-1969 text takes up slightly more than half of my fourth edition from 1994. This earlier core is an excellent historical analysis of a paramilitary movement which had at one point been central to Irish politics and had steadily been moved more and more to the fringes, as decade after decade crucial members of the leadership either defected to democratic politics or died (often through violence). Coogan has got deeply into his subje ...more
See my review of Coogan's book Michael collins. Coogan proves to be even a clumsier writer here than in his other book. But once agin, the sublect matter, the IRA, makes it worthwhile to read.

Today Ireland is gorged with prosperity and the EEC makes one wonder what all the fight was about. In any event the Irish catholics in Ulster will win the issue of unification in the bedroom as the Prods become a minority over time even in the area that they gerrymandered to continue Protestant ascendency.
Tim Parlin
i would call this an exhaustive study of the history of the IRA. seemed like it took a whole year to read. i wanted to learn more about this century long struggle and now i know about every god damn bombing or botched attack that ever happened. ask me something about the IRA. anything.
S. Sigerson
Tim Pat Coogan is generally recognized as the foremost living author on modern Irish history. Born in 1925 (when the Civil War was only two years ended) Coogan grew up in the maelstrom of Ireland's tumultuous 20th century. As a journalist, he covered much of this history as it happened, interviewing many of the major players, and also having personal contacts throughout the Irish political scene. At the same time, he maintains a critical perspective on the unique phenomenon of the IRA. With symp ...more
Racquel McDonnell
I started reading this book because I like to know 'why?' I've written a book and one of my characters is x IRA, I needed to know the reasons behind her characteristics, why she behaves the way she does and what drives such a spirit to seek revenge as she sees fit.
Being of Irish decent, this era of Irish history plays a major role on how the country and the people became who they are today.
Aside from the acts of terrorism, the development of such an army to protect the people against oppression
Joe Kendall
This is an excellent book on the history of the IRA. Tim Pat Coogan, though biased, does his best to be objective in his writings. Much of the book is dense and hard to follow because of all the names and places being mentioned along with the jumping back and forth through time. But this is in effect a history book and well written for a history book at that. Coogan does not glorify the IRA's actions, instead demonizing all the useless violence in Northern Ireland, saying that much of what the v ...more
Frustrating but worthwhile. Full of detail but seemed to assume the reader was familiar with the larger historical and social context already. The edition I read was published in 1994, so on a hopeful but still very tentative note.
An extremely detailed account of the history of the IRA. As a Dubliner Coogan's Nationalist views are apparent, but like many Nationalists this does not mean he spares the IRA criticism where he believes it is deserved. If one has a mind for detail and an interest in the roots of the politico-socio-religious conflict in Northern Ireland this is a good read. If, however, one does not need to read the entire history of the IRA and is merely interested in the 1966-1996 period of the Troubles, Cooga ...more
Richard Thomas
It's a partial (as opposed to an impartial account but this is its worth to a British reader.
A completely enjoyable read...but not as much of a history as I imagined. Well, that's not fair. It is a history, but more like a personal history, or at most an oral history. Coogan is more of your really really smart grandpa who knew everyone back in the day, telling you about how it was. There was no pretense of impartiality. Coogan is more...partial to bits and pieces of both sides. But the book was a fascinating series of stories.
Coogan is an Irish Times journalist whose family was involved in most of the more recent events of the last century. His writing is informed by a sense that he may know many of the principals of the story he sketches. I came away with a deeper understanding of the driving forces within the IRA itself and a sense of the links between it and its supporters in the republican community.
Tim Pat Coogan will never be accused of being an historian but he writes well, knows (and knew) a lot about the IRA and hit the timing mark perfectly with the first edition of "The IRA" which came from the printers just as British forces were landing in Northern Ireland and the IRA made a comeback. Would give this book a 2.5 if possible.
Sep 11, 2008 Jessica marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This book is very tough to get through because it's so dense. The IRA is a very complex organization and I am feeling overwhelmed at the number of names and dates. I think I should have started with a more general history before I tried to dive into this encyclopedic review of such a complicated group.
Great history of Ireland, heavy reading in terms of names and dates pertinent to comprehending the book. I was unable to finish the last 100 or so pages but have passed it on to an Irish friend who will be able to get through it!
Julie H.
A compelling history of the IRA with information on the peace process at the time of its writing. For anyone interested in Irish history, Republican politics and the "troubles," this is a must-read.
Matthew Kading
The definitive work on the Irish Republican Army and the Provos (Provisional IRA) and a fairly unbiased history of the development and growth of the IRA in Ireland, Europe and the United States.1
WONDERFUL! Coogan's father worked for/with Michael Collins so he has a first hand knowledge of many witnesses and sources that others do not!
This is the second book I've read by Coogan. Never again. There is no forest. There are only trees. Many of them poorly identified.
Haven't finished it. Don't plan to anytime soon. But Tim Pat has put it ALL there to be whittled down bit by bit.
Breda Brosnan
i thought this was an excellent thought provoking book into the workings of the ira
So far, really dry.... I am fascinated by this subject, too.
Someday I will figure out how to read an entire nonfiction book.
Count No Count
You got to break a few eggs to ruin a breakfast.
Comprehensive, though often too chronological.
very comprehensive work on the "troubles"
Rita Barnowski
Is anyone else missing pages 201-232?
Mallory marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2015
Torkofsky marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2015
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Timothy Patrick Coogan is an Irish historical writer, broadcaster and newspaper columnist. He served as editor of the Irish Press newspaper from 1968 to 1987. Today, he is best known for his popular and sometimes controversial books on aspects of modern Irish history, including The IRA, Ireland Since the Rising, On the Blanket, and biographies of Michael Collins and Éamon de Valera.
More about Tim Pat Coogan...
Michael Collins: The Man Who Made Ireland The Troubles: Ireland's Ordeal 1966-1996 and the Search for Peace 1916: The Easter Rising The Famine Plot: England's Role in Ireland's Greatest Tragedy Eamon de Valera: The man who was Ireland

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