Sunday, April 26, 2009

For follow-up

From Louise Richardson's New York Times review of Michael Burleigh's Blood and Rage --

In several instances, Burleigh seems to lose his critical faculties altogether in order simply to be offensive. Rather than arguing the quite reasonable point that the discrimination against Catholics in Northern Ireland under the Stormont government was not egregious and was better than the treatment of blacks in the American South, he writes: “Protestant friends of mine from Dungannon say that they often dated Catholic girls, who tended to be more feminine than the butch Unionists. Unlike the U.S. Deep South, they could do this without fear of being lynched.” He then goes on to miss the point about the Catholic civil rights movement in Northern Ireland. For the first time Catholics were claiming rights within Northern Ireland rather than demanding the overthrow of the state, and it was the inflexible government’s blindness to this opportunity — and the consequent emergence of violent republicanism — that had such tragic consequences for the province.

The free first chapter excerpt of the book is heavily devoted to the Irish Question.

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