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Voices from the Grave: Two Men's War in Ireland Paperback – June 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586489321
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586489328
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 6.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #452,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Irish Times
“The first and more gripping half of this fascinating, important book by Ed Moloney recreates Hughes’s IRA career through his later reflections on it.”

Daily Express
“This candid analysis of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, as seen through the eyes of two men of violence, is full of revelations…The memories of both men are vivid, gossipy and informed by an intense moral passion.”

Telegraph
“[A] moving new book, which traces the conflict from [Hughes’ and Erskine’s] often diametrically opposed perspectives… Moloney’s book expertly interweaves the two men’s recollections with a detailed narrative of the conflict.”

Telegraph, April 17, 2010
“[A] moving new book, which traces the conflict from [Hughes’ and Erskine’s] often diametrically opposed perspectives… Moloney’s book expertly interweaves the two men’s recollections with a detailed narrative of the conflict.”

Open Democracy
"How do you document the history of a conflict in which illegal organisations are among the central players? Voices from the Grave, by the veteran Northern Ireland correspondent Ed Moloney, is an intriguing attempt to answer that question.”
 
Irish Central, July 23, 2010
“Moloney’s journalistic style pairs well with the jarring pictures of violence provided by his interviewees. …Both Hughes and Ervine are now dead, making Voices from the Grave a definitive historical text…With few other recorded examples of paramilitary figures discussing the destruction and killings surrounding the Troubles, Voices from the Grave is an important addition to its field and an engrossing read.”
 
Basil and Spice, July 12, 2010
Voices From the Grave is an important work of oral history, and thanks to Moloney's expertise on the subject of the violence in Ireland, is fleshed out and set in context  so a non-specialist reader can grasp the details of the violence of the IRA and the UVF and other factions.”
 
Mary McWay Seaman, National Book Critics Circle's Critical Mass blog
“Unforgettable revelations, lush with little-known details and clandestine deal-making, alternately stun and shimmer throughout Ed Moloney’s heartbreaking literary treasure.”

About the Author

Ed Moloney is the author of A Secret History of the IRA and a former Northern Ireland editor of the Irish Times and Sunday Tribune. He lives in New York.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Irish joe on June 16, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Most people know of "The Troubles" in Ireland, but most people do not understand them. This book goes a long way to explaining what was in the hearts and minds of young IRA volunteers during the most turbulent times in Irelands sad history of British Rule. Brendan doesn't just tell you he joined the IRA, he tells you the deep personal reasons for doing so. The events that thrust him into the IRA, and of course his relationship with Gerry Adams is a controversy that has people questioning "The Darks" state of mind when giving this information. An absolute must read for anyone who lived through Irelands war or has any Irish ancestry at all.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Jacobs VINE VOICE on November 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up because I'm a long-time admirer of Irish culture and history, with a keen interest in politics in general and the Troubles in particular. There are parts of this book--mostly when Mr. Moloney allows Brendan Hughes to speak for himself--that are fascinating and absolutely worth a look. Those sections have added considerably to my understanding of the events that took place in Northern Ireland in the 70s and 80s, and I think are worthwhile reading for those new to the subject as well as to specialists in the field. That said, this books suffers from a serious weakness that becomes more and more irritating the further in you get: Mr. Moloney clearly doesn't care for Gerry Adams, and he won't quit harping about it.

To be fair to the author, Hughes obviously shares his dislike of Adams, so you could say that Mr. Moloney is simply expanding upon a theme that's already present. Fair enough, but if he insists upon doing this, especially in such an intrusive and bothersome way, he ought to explain the reasons for his own dislike. (Personal? Political? Both?) Such a request doesn't seem like too much to ask, not when the author portrays Adams as a full-blown and omnicompetent Machiavellian by the time he hit his late teens, and includes a quote from Hughes in which the latter compares Adams to Hitler. Seriously. I don't have a strong opinion on Adams, but I can tell you this kind of unhinged hyperbole isn't at all persuasive, at least not in the way Mr. Moloney probably intends.

All in all, I'd suggest that you take a look at the book in spite of its drawbacks, as there's a lot of information here (particularly about the day-to-day workings of the Belfast IRA) that I haven't found elsewhere. At its best, it's a valuable resource on Northern Irish history.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Hugh Claffey on April 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
There have been rumours of this book's impact on Gerry Adam's political career since Christmas. His one-time brother-in-arms, Brendan Hughes, was going to tell all - posthumously - about their early days in the Belfast IRA. In fact the book is the first fruit of a Boston College Oral History project which facilitates former paramilitaries to describe their experience in the most recent Troubles in Northern Ireland. A condition of their participation is that publication of their statements will be posthumous unless specifically authorised. Both Brendan Hughes (ex IRA) and David Ervine's (ex UVF) comments are used in this book and their verbatim statements are contextualized (clumsy verb, cant think of another) by Ed Maloney; Hughes and Ervine have separate sections of the book but there are some striking interconnections - Ervine decides to join the UVF having seen the devastation of the coordinated set of explosions which became known as `Bloody Friday' - largely organised by Hughes. Each section ends with Adams going to the funeral - in Hughes case Adams is isolated and unwelcome, in Ervines case Adams is cautiously welcomes, though isolated by the fact that he is surrounded by former mortal enemies.
I read Ervine's section first, I felt I knew his character better and his story more.
Read more ›
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By cathartid on August 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have only read a few hundred pages. Well written and well laid out, the book follows the Irish conflict from that 60's thru present. Actual interviews are scripted and the nuts & bolt details are revealed as to why certain things were handled the way they were. An excellent first hand recount of events.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Walter Ellis on April 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a book that needed to be written. And Ed Maloney - an awarding-winning journalist with a long track record in Northern Ireland - was the right man for the job. To suggest, as some have done, that it is "unfair," either because it doesn't include interviews with the RUC and the British Army, or because it doesn't set out to support the official Sinn Fein/Gerry Adams line on the "armed struggle," is to miss the point. This is an account of what happened during the worst years of the Troubles by those who were there. In the absence of a Truth and Reconciliation process, it is the best we can hope for.
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