Erica's Reviews > The Troubles: Ireland's Ordeal 1966-1996 and the Search for Peace

The Troubles by Tim Pat Coogan
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's review
May 11, 09

bookshelves: historical, non-fiction, men-authors, alreadyread, irish, politics-and-social-movements
Read in May, 2009

An excellent, comprehensive source on the Troubles in the second half of the twentieth century. This isn't light reading, however, and not for the faint of heart. But if you are interested in this period, I'd find you hard pressed to identify a better and more exhaustive look at the diverse elements of the conflict and attempts to come to an accord. Coogan often uses his experiences and interactions with players to describe the situation, which counters my preferences in writing as an historian, but he does not become overly sentimental or devolve into distracting name-dropping. There were parts that I skimmed over, as they related less to my personal interests (namely "legal weaponry"), but each section gets adequate treatment and those interested in any one facet will not be disappointed.
It would be interesting to read Coogan's perspective on what has happened in the dozen years since the second edition (and the afterword) were published. Just as it was interesting to read what his thoughts for the future were at the time the book was written. From a decade out, the last chapter seems somewhat truncated, cut short, even hastily completed. Would his thoughts or perspectives change based on what has happened in Northern Ireland in subsequent years?

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message 1: by Nicolette (new) - added it

Nicolette I'm gonna try and read this book before I go. It was great to see you. Yay Ireland!

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