The IRA is one of the oldest terrorist organizations in the world and conducted a ferociously violent campaign for almost thirty years. Now deeply enmeshed in the Northern Ireland peace process, Rogelio Alonso asks why one of the bloodiest terrorist movements of our time decide to swap weapons for the ballot box?
Based on over seventy interviews conducted with former and existing members of the IRA, Alonso also provides a rigorous evaluation of the personal and political consequences of the IRA’s campaign of violence. The analysis of these interviews radically challenges the dominant academic analysis of Irish terrorism. This book includes a strong criticism of the armed struggle constructed around the discourse of those who waged it and answers the question faced by many armed revolutionary movements: ‘Was the war worth it?’
Translated from the critically acclaimed Matar por Irlanda and available in English for the first time, this is a provocative and new approach to understanding the IRA. It is essential reading for readers and researchers with an interest in Irish politics and history, terrorism and political violence.
'This controversial and exciting book assesses the true effectiveness of the IRA's armed struggle and reaches profoundly significant conclusions about the outcome of the IRA's entire campaign. Seduced neither by politics nor propaganda, Rogelio Alonso provides us with not only a brilliant analysis of the IRA, but sets a new benchmark for primary research on terrorism.'- Dr John Horgan, University of St Andrews, UK
'…a must read for all students and scholars of terrorism and political violence.'
Shahid Bux, Univeristy of St. Andrews, UK
1. Introduction 2. Apprenticeship 3. Defenders? 4. The Captive Mind 5. Hunger for Power 6. Losers 7. Winners 8. Conclusion: The Triumph of Failure
This book series contains sober, thoughtful and authoritative academic accounts of terrorism and political violence. Its aim is to produce a useful taxonomy of terror and violence through comparative and historical analysis in both national and international spheres. Each book discusses origins, organisational dynamics and outcomes of particular forms and expressions of political violence.
Founding Editor: David Rapoport