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Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA
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Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  123 ratings  ·  11 reviews
The IRA has been a much richer, more complexly layered, and more protean organization than is frequently recognized. It is also more open to balanced examination now--at the end of its long war in the north of Ireland--than it was even a few years ago.
Richard English's brilliant book offers a detailed history of the IRA, providing invaluable historical depth to our under
Paperback, 492 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published March 21st 2003)
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Michael Schmidt
That a guy surnamed English came to write a history of the Irish Republican Army, its antecedants and splinters, is a lovely irony (one wonders how he prefaced his interview requests). Yet despite such an apparent setback, Richard English has produced one of the best comprehensive overviews of one of the defining conflicts of the past century, one that can only partly be read as a resistance to colonialism because of the very different approaches of the republicans and unionists to Britain, an e ...more
Having grown up through the early part of the war in the North of Ireland and studied this period of Irish history at an academic level, I would attest that this is one of the most accurately researched, balanced and comprehensive accounts of the Irish Republican Army which I have read to date. It should be studied by anyone with an interest in Irish politics. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Rebekka Steg
Very interesting and perceptive books that shows both sides of the troubles in northern Ireland. The author manages to stay neutral throughout the book while telling IRA's story.
Jared Miller
This is a very well researched book. It has a lot of good information in it and is very well written I wish there where half stars so I could give it a 4.5 Out of 5. At times it could be a little dry. And although the chapters and sections are laid out very well, it jumps around inside the chapters making it sometimes hard to get the chronology at first look.
Maryna Chorna
Mar 22, 2015 Maryna Chorna added it
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English does cram a lot of information in this book, and while it was vastly informative, I think maybe he should have split up the big events in separate volumes. Clearly should only be read by people who are very interested in the subject material as I recently have been. Another critique was that it didn't give as much detail on the specific forms of violent acts that the IRA committed but I appreciated the detail on the UDA etc.
It was a fine book, just tried to fit too much in and so everything felt rushed and condensed. Also concentrated on politics, what groups felt and stood for rather than what they did. I understand the author did not want to glorify the violence or anger victems, but the events probably needed a bit more mention to help this mess to become understandable to an outsider. Or maybe that's the point.
A VERY comprehensive look at the history of the IRA. I would definitely recommend it... if you feel like devoting several hours to this... The guy also does a reasonably good job being balanced (He points out police oppression and the sufferings of the IRA while still holding them accountable for their own violent acts).
I liked this book so much that I sent Richard English an e-mail telling him! And he wrote me back, which was nice - I was just an undergrad, and not even a history major. And now we're BFFs. No, that last part isn't true.
Philippe Duhart
An excellent and thorough analysis of the IRA. Recommended for those with some degree of knowledge about the conflict in Northern Ireland. Not a book for beginners.
Great book to describe the violence in Northern Ireland
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