Making Sense of the Troubles: a History of the Northern Ireland Conflict

David McKittrick David McVea

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Making Sense of the Troubles: a History of the Northern Ireland Conflict

Making Sense of the Troubles a History of the Northern Ireland Conflict First published ten years ago Making Sense of the Troubles is widely regarded as the most comprehensive considered and compassionate history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland Written by a distingu

  • Title: Making Sense of the Troubles: a History of the Northern Ireland Conflict
  • Author: David McKittrick David McVea
  • ISBN: 9780241962657
  • Page: 460
  • Format: Paperback
  • First published ten years ago, Making Sense of the Troubles is widely regarded as the most comprehensive, considered and compassionate history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland Written by a distinguished journalist and a teacher of history in Northern Ireland, it surveys the roots of the problems from 1921 onwards, the descent into violence in the late sixties, and theFirst published ten years ago, Making Sense of the Troubles is widely regarded as the most comprehensive, considered and compassionate history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland Written by a distinguished journalist and a teacher of history in Northern Ireland, it surveys the roots of the problems from 1921 onwards, the descent into violence in the late sixties, and the three terrible decades that followed David McKittrick and David McVea have now fully updated the book to take into account the momentous events of last ten years, including the disbanding of the IRA, Ian Paisley s deal with the Republicans and the historic power sharing goverment in Belfast.

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      Published :2018-06-05T23:21:53+00:00

    One thought on “Making Sense of the Troubles: a History of the Northern Ireland Conflict

    1. Paul Bryant on said:

      In 1972 a total of 498 people were killed in Northern Ireland, which had a small population of around 1.5 million. It was a very violent place. The total body count of The Troubles is 3,739 between 1966 and 2012 (but the murders have not been in double figures since 2004.) Now – can anyone tell me how many people have died in Iraq’s complex internal wars since 2003? Is anyone counting? And that’s just one example. How long have you got?Really, as civil wars go, it was not much to write hom [...]

    2. Peter Colclasure on said:

      Catholics and Protestants kill each other for several decades. Then they stop.This is the fourth book I've read about the Troubles since an Irish history class in college piqued my interest. Occasionally, in bars, I'll try and engage my fellow Americans in a discussion of this conflict, only to watch their eyes glaze over in boredom. Here's why you, as an American, should care about a convoluted war on the rainy edge of Europe that ended 15 years ago: 1. It proves that racism has nothing to do w [...]

    3. Rob Adey on said:

      Like the Gaddis Cold War book, this is a great history primer: it explains what happened clearly and carefully, covers the key figures and what they did etc without the mass of detail that might overwhelm the reader who – shamefully – saw all this stuff on the news for decades but had a minimal idea of the context.

    4. Allan LEONARD on said:

      Good for accuracy, not so good for backgroundMaking Sense stays true to its objective, to tell ‘a straightforward and gripping story in an accessible way’. It is a straightforward read.But is it a good read? Yes, if you don’t want to be bogged down with pre-Troubles history (too simplistically outlined in the book) or don’t need to understand the ideologies of unionism and nationalism per se. In this way, Making Sense feels written for a general English/benign foreign audience.However, i [...]

    5. Mac McCormick III on said:

      I am a complete novice when it comes to the history of Ireland and Northern Ireland, so I come to the subject with an open mind and as a book with blank pages waiting to be filled in. I was born just a few years after the “The Troubles” began and while conscious that they were occurring, I never really knew much more about them than the violence that was reported on the evening news. I knew that there were problems but I didn’t know what those problems were. Throughout my education, mentio [...]

    6. Olya on said:

      Was looking more for insight into how the troubles started (first 30 or so pages) than a shot by shot of what the troubles were (the other 400 pages).

    7. Vanessa Meachen on said:

      Growing up on the other side of the world from Northern Ireland, IRA bombings and shootings were regularly reported, in such a way that I always worried that if I ever went to England, the IRA would get me. The reporting was very one-sided - the words "sectarian violence" were used frequently but there was very little reporting of any violence carried out by the loyalist factions and not a lot of background of any kind. It makes me wonder whether, if the IRA had not been active in England, we wo [...]

    8. Kieran on said:

      As I finished this book, 'The Two Towers' was on in the background:"It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines, it’ll shine out the clear [...]

    9. Sarah on said:

      This book started out slow, but then it picked up about halfway through. It provides important information for understanding the troubles in Northern Ireland. I learned so much about this part of Northern Ireland's history. I will definitely keep what I learned in mind when I am visiting Northern Ireland this month.

    10. tom on said:

      if you realise one day that you know basically nothing about the 20th century history and politics of Northern Ireland, this is a good place to come.

    11. Hernando Pulido on said:

      Este es un libro para quienes quieren conocer las generalidades de uno de las contiendas civiles más cruentas de la historia contemporánea: "The Troubles" (algo así como "Los Disturbios"), el nombre popular que ha recibido el conflicto de Irlanda del Norte. El texto del periodista David McKittrick y el historiador David McVea sintetiza las etapas más destacadas de la lucha política y armada que enfrentó a protestantes y católicos desde la década de 1960 hasta fines del siglo XX, cuando s [...]

    12. Tommy /|\ on said:

      Rarely do I run across a historical account that has me thumbing backwards to connect various salient points. When I do, those are typically accounts that are so difficult o understand that the constant going backwards is necessary. In this case; however, thumbing backwards wasn't necessary for context, but rather a desire to reread a passage that is being mentioned in the current point to gather more detail than the small paragraph currently being read. McKittrick and McVea have written an exce [...]

    13. Karin on said:

      Highly recommended! Excellently written about the background to, time of, and aftermath of the troubles. As a Swedish citizen moving to London in the mid nineties, I remember many of the events at that time. However, having grown up in a peaceful country I found it hard to understand the troubles. This book explains it in a way that is easy to follow, it is extremely well written, the analysis is highly informative, and I have learned so much. Visits to Derry & Belfast twice over the past ye [...]

    14. Theresa on said:

      An interesting, informative and very well explained account of The Troubles. It is a bipartisan tale, showing no bias to either side, and gives the reader a snapshot of the times. Providing a brief history of the 60 years leading up to the explosion of violence and blatant sectarianism, it helps the reader who, like myself, had little knowledge of the preceding years understand to an extent what all sides were fighting for.A fascinating and horrific book.

    15. Thaddeus Austin on said:

      Excellent, cogent, concise overview of a fairly complex situation. I've read several other histories and found my head spinning and unable to keep track of the various players and their shifting motivations and alliances. This puts everything in an understandable framework. Please note that I read the updated edition, not the one pictured in the blurb.

    16. Keith on said:

      This book was a real slog to get through.No storytelling, just fact after monotonous fact. It felt more like a 300-page timeline of the troubles rather than a story being told. Overall, very disappointed in this history book, wish I had found something better to give me an overview of exactly what happened in Ireland over the course of the 20th century.

    17. Nick McCormick on said:

      ThoroughThis is a great read for those looking for a thorough assessment of The Troubles. You might have a hard time keeping up with the parties and players, but it's well worth your time!

    18. April Sanders on said:

      A clear and concise summary of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The authors offer an unbiased view of the historic conflict from 1921 to 2012. I wanted an understanding of the complexities of the time and I received it reading this book. Well done.

    19. Jurgen Maerschand on said:

      A well-balanced introduction to and overview of the troubles. Focus is mostly on the politics behind it. Would have appreciated more insights on the sociological impact of this horror.

    20. Peter Williams on said:

      Very good. Informative and, as it says in the blurb, unbiased. well worth reading.

    21. Geoffrey Kelley on said:

      We visited Dublin and Belfast this summer. This book really helped me "make sense of the troubles".

    22. Nicholas Whyte on said:

      nhwvejournal/191637ml[return][return]First off, this is one of the best books that I've read about the Troubles. It combines - not quite effortlessly, but at least effectively - at least three genres: i) the technocratic concentration on big picture processes that you get in Flackes and Elliott, Bew and Gillespie, and even (I must admit) my own website; ii) the inside account of the Republican movement and the "armed struggle", drawing on Tim Pat Coogan and to an extent the insider writings of D [...]

    23. Phil on said:

      Throughout that dismal period of British and Irish history known as "the Troubles" (1969-98), the "Independent" newspaper's David McKittrick was a reliable, well-informed, and fair-minded commentator on the seemingly intractable struggle between Unionists, Republicans, and the UK government. This survey of the causes, events, and resolution of what was almost, but not quite, a modern Civil War on UK territory, is similarly insightful and comprehensive, in all senses of that word. With his collab [...]

    24. Robert P. Hoffman on said:

      The discussion of the origins of the troubles in the late 1960s and early 1970s is well done. The authors do a good job of showing how the IRA emerged and how the IRA used terrorism to advance its interests. One important point the authors made was how IRA supporters in the US acted as though the conflict was between the Irish and the English and no thought given to all the Protestants who lived in Northern Ireland, were the majority, and had no desire to see Ireland united.Protestants used thre [...]

    25. John Dougherty on said:

      Like probably most Americans, I understood almost nothing about "The Troubles." To paraphrase the book, I simplistically believed that it came down to the British being an occupying force in Northern Ireland, and the majority of those citizens trying to drive them out by any means necessary. As I learned after the first chapter; or actually the first few paragraphs, that's nowhere near the case and, as I should have expected, the issue is much more complex than that.This book is written for peop [...]

    26. strawberryfields on said:

      In October 2015, i was on holiday in Northern Ireland for almost a week. More than 15 years after the Belfast Good Friday Agreement, the country still seemed like a divided nation to me, especially in some areas of Derry and Belfast. Even though car bombs and paramilitary shootings are mostly a thing of the past, Northern Ireland is still riven by the historical impact of almost 40 years of sectarian and political conflict.The title of this book is no exaggeration: Whether you've been in Norther [...]

    27. Noelle Kain on said:

      This book's biggest flaw, which isn't really a flaw at all, is that it left out information. Of course, if it hadn't it would have been completely unwieldy. That said, I did find it interesting that Michael Collins is never mentioned, but that we get several quoted bloody descriptions of the aftermaths of bombings. Likewise, the book mirrored the RUC, military and really, world's, habit of paying more attention to the IRA than the various militant Protestant groups. It was a very good and pretty [...]

    28. Elfl0ck on said:

      Making Sense of the Troubles is a pretty remarkable work of scholarship. Unfortunately, it's not the work of scholarship I was expecting based on the title and summary.What this book succeeds at is giving a comprehensive historical overview of a very complex historical moment. However, it tends to stick very closely to the facts, while rarely exploring their motivations and significance. I now know a lot of names and dates, but I'm no closer to making sense of any of them.For example, I understa [...]

    29. Leif Bodnarchuk on said:

      Loved it. I first moved to Northern Ireland in 1987 when I was 14 years old. This book has helped me further grasp the history of the young country, along with its social and political turmoils.It's pretty easy to read – I admit I was glued to the violent events more so than some of the political discourse. That said, being unfamiliar with some of the names of key players, I found the density of names and places at times was a bit thick – like me :-)Even still, as far as academic works go, [...]

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