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Making Sense of the Troubles The Story of the Conflict in Northern Ireland
978-1-56131-070-8 • Hardback
March 2002 • $27.50 • (£16.95)
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978-1-4616-6333-1 • eBook
March 2002 • $26.99 • (£16.95)

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Pages: 368
Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2
By David McKittrick and David McVea
 
History | Europe / Ireland
New Amsterdam Books
Compellingly written and even-handed in its judgments, this is by far the clearest account of what has happened through the years in the Northern Ireland conflict, and why. After a chapter of background on the period from 1921 to 1963, it covers the ensuing period—the descent into violence, the hunger strikes, the Anglo-Irish accord, the bombers in England—to the present shaky peace process. Behind the deluge of information and opinion about the conflict, there is a straightforward and gripping story. Mr. McKittrick and Mr. McVea tell that story clearly, concisely, and, above all, fairly, avoiding intricate detail in favor of narrative pace and accessible prose. They describe and explain a lethal but fascinating time in Northern Ireland's history, which brought not only death, injury, and destruction but enormous political and social change. They close on an optimistic note, convinced that while peace—if it comes—will always be imperfect, a corner has now been decisively turned. The book includes a detailed chronology, statistical tables, and a glossary of terms.
David McKittrick writes for the Independent and is a winner of the Orwell Prize for Journalism. In 1999 he was named correspondent of the year by the BBC's What the Papers Say. He has reported on Northern Ireland since 1973.

David McVea was, for many years, head of the politics department at a leading Belfast grammar school. He now works for Northern Ireland's examinations board. With David McKittrick he helped to produce the book Lost Lives, which tells the stories of all those who died as a result of the Troubles.
Part 1 Introduction ix
Part 2 THE STATIC SOCIETY 1
Chapter 3 1921-63
Part 4 THE O'NEILL YEARS 26
Chapter 5 1963-69
Part 6 DESCENT INTO VIOLENCE 53
Chapter 7 1969-71
Part 8 THE END OF STORMONT 76
Chapter 9 1972-73
Part 10 SUNNINGDALE, STRIKE & STALEMATE 98
Chapter 11 1974-76
Part 12 FROM CASTLEREAGH TO WARRENPOINT 118
Chapter 13 1977-79
Part 14 THE HUNGERSTRIKES 134
Chapter 15 1981-81
Part 16 ANGLO-IRISH ACCORD 149
Chapter 17 1982-85
Part 18 ENNISKILLEN, LIBYA & BOMBS IN ENGLAND 167
Chapter 19 1986-93
Part 20 PEACE PROCESS 184
Chapter 21 1993-94
Part 22 DECOMMISSIONING, DOCKLANDS & DRUMCREE 200
Chapter 23 1994-96
Part 24 BREAKTHROUGH 214
Chapter 25 1997-2001
Part 26 PERSPECTIVES 230
Part 27 CHRONOLOGY 243
Part 28 TABLES 325
Part 29 GLOSSARY 331
Part 30 BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 338
Part 31 INDEX 340
Buried in the text of most histories you can detect the views of the author. Making Sense of the Troubles, the first attempt to tell the whole story of the past 30 years in Northern Ireland, is an exception.
Anne McHardy; Observer


One of the great merits of David McKittrick and David McVea's book lies in the authors' ability to pinpoint the causes of trouble while avoiding oversimplification.... A valuable resume of causes and effects.
Patricia Craig; Independent


If you want a frank, accurate and authoritative account you cannot do much better.... There could be no better guide through the intricacies of the Peace Process. This book...is likely to be the definitive account.... An important book.... It should be on every bookshelf.
Irish Independent


Comprehensive, considered and compassionate.
Paul Arthur; The Irish Times


A masterly account.
Barry White; Belfast Telegraph


Extraordinarily well-balanced, sane, comprehensive, and rich in sober understatement.
Cal McCrystal; Glasgow Herald


This book tells a sorry tale, and it tells it with a powerful clarity.... It took steady nerves to undertake such a book.
Susan McKay; Sunday Tribune


 
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