In the final part of his trilogy exploring 'The Troubles' in Northern Ireland, Peter Taylor talks to undercover agents of the British state and reveals for the first time the hidden secrets of the war they waged against the IRA for thirty years. PROVOS and LOYALISTS told the story of the conflict from the point of view of the Republicans and Loyalists; now the story, with all its tragic twists and turns, is told from the British perspective. For the first time, undercover soldiers, Special Branch officers and a top MI6 agent step out of the shadows and, along with the Whitehall mandarins who helped shape policy from Westminster, tell their stories.
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(198mm x 129mm x 28mm)
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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UK Kirkus Review »
Peter Taylor, a well-informed television journalist who has been working on the Troubles in Ulster for over 30 years, is an ideal person to tackle the Irish question. This is the third volume of a trilogy, preceded by Provos, which appeared in 1997, and Loyalists two years later. Much of it has been shown on television. This time Taylor considers Ulster from the British angle. He shows how the statelet - with about a million Protestant and half a million Roman Catholic inhabitants, its government machine firmly geared to the Protestant interest - came to the verge of civil war in 1968-9, a war which was prevented by the arrival of British troops. He explains how the Catholics who had hailed the troops as liberators were persuaded instead to detest them as occupiers. Locally, there are two interwoven communities, implacably opposed to each other, neither prepared to believe that the other ever operates in good faith. They form a part of the United Kingdom, but United Kingdom politicians are most of them ignorant of the main elements, let alone the details, of what is going on. As usual in Ireland, the devil is in the details. These details are spelt out with care and clarity by an unusually competent author, who has interviewed most of the principal figures on all three sides and been present at a number of the most startling occasions. He says nothing indiscreet; but when he thinks wrong has been done, he does not hesitate to say so. He gets inside the minds of the officers and soldiers of the army and the police forces; some of his best sources were in the little-known and much-feared 14 Intelligence Company ('The Detachment'), for which the training is so harsh that only 17 qualified out of the first 300 volunteers. Nothing could be more relevant to present international troubles than this unusually well-produced account of 30 years' struggle against religious-based terrorism. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Peter Taylor
Peter Taylor has reported on Northern Ireland for almost 30 years and has made more than 50 documentaries on the conflict for ITV's THIS WEEK and for BBC's PANORAMA. In 1995 he received the Royal Television Society's prestigious Judge's Award for his lifetime's coverage of the conflict. He is the author of many books on Ireland including PROVOS and LOYALISTS, both published as Bloomsbury Paperbacks. His three-part television documentary was broadcast to acclaim in May 2000.