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'The Troubles' - Suggested Reading

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Page Compiled : Martin Melaugh     [updated: 1 November 2007]
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'The Troubles' - Suggested Reading

The following contains suggested reading on the topics of the Northern Ireland conflict and politics in the region. The list is a personal one prepared by the CAIN Project Manager. It is based on, and is a selection of, the main (searchable) CAIN bibliography. The list is divided into main topic areas (and ordered by author within each topic). The same list arranged by author is also available.

The bibliography includes many of the books that were used in preparing the CAIN web site. Extracts from some of the books below are available elsewhere on CAIN; check the list of main items for details.

Some of the hundreds of books published
on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.

General Books on 'the Troubles'

Bell, J.Bowyer. (1993). The Irish Troubles: A Generation of Violence, 1967-1992. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.
Coogan, Tim Pat. (1995). The Troubles: Ireland's Ordeal 1966-1996 and the Search for Peace. London: Hutchinson.
Holland, Jack. (1999). Hope Against History: The Ulster Conflict. London: Coronet Lir Books.
McKittrick, David. (2000). Making Sense of the Troubles. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.

Understanding the Conflict

Bew, Paul., Gibbon, Peter., and Patterson, Henry. (2002). Northern Ireland 1921-2001: Political Forces and Social Classes. London: Serif.
Boyle, Kevin., and Hadden, Tom. (1994). Northern Ireland: The Choice. London: Penguin Books.
Darby, John. (1997). Scorpions in a Bottle: Conflicting cultures in Northern Ireland. London: Minority Rights Publications.
Dixon, Paul. (2001). Northern Ireland: The Politics of War and Peace. New York: Palgrave.
Dunn, Seamus. (ed.). (1995). Facets of the Conflict In Northern Ireland. London: Macmillan Press Ltd.
Farrell, M. (1980). Northern Ireland: the Orange State. London: Pluto Press Ltd.
McCann, Eamonn. (1993). War and an Irish Town (3rd ed.). London: Pluto.
McGarry, John., and O'Leary, Brendan. (1995). Explaining Northern Ireland. Oxford: Blackwell.
McKay, Susan. (2000). Northern Protestants: An Unsettled People. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
O Connor, Fionnuala. (1993). In Search of a State: Catholics in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
O'Leary, Brendan. (2019). A Treatise on Northern Ireland. Volume 1: Colonialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ... [26055] - [Book]
O'Leary, Brendan. (2019). A Treatise on Northern Ireland. Volume 2: Control. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ... [26056] - [Book]
O'Leary, Brendan. (2019). A Treatise on Northern Ireland. Volume 3: Consociation and Confederation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ... [26057] - [Book]
O'Leary, Brendan., and McGarry, John. (1996). The Politics of Antagonism: Understanding Northern Ireland (2nd ed.). London: Athlone Press.
O'Malley, Padriag. (1990). Northern Ireland: Questions of Nuance. Belfast: The Blackstaff Press.
O'Malley, Padriag. (1997). The Uncivil Wars: Ireland Today. Boston: Beacon Press.
Whyte, John. (1991). Interpreting Northern Ireland. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Wright, Frank. (1992). Northern Ireland: A Comparative Analysis (2nd ed.). Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.


Bew, Paul., and Gillespie, Gordon. (1999). Northern Ireland: a chronology of the troubles, 1968-99. (2nd ed.). Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.
Curley, Helen. (Ed.). (2000). Ireland Almanac and Yearbook of Facts 2000. Dublin: Local Ireland.
Dunn, Seamus., and Dawson, Helen. (2000). An Alphabetical Listing of Word, Name and Place in Northern Ireland and the Living Language of Conflict. Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press.
Elliott, S., and Flakes, W.D. (1999). Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999 Belfast: Blackstaff Press.


Bardon, J. (1992). A History of Ulster. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Barton, Brian. (1996). A Pocket History of Ulster. Dublin: The O'Brien Press.
Beckett, J.C. (1981). The Making of Modern Ireland 1603-1923. London: Faber and Faber.
Bew, Paul. (2007). Ireland: The Politics of Enmity 1789-2006. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Buckland, P. (1981). A History of Northern Ireland. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.
Kee, Robert. (1982). Ireland: A History. London: Sphere Books Ltd.
Foster, R.F. (2001). The Oxford History of Ireland. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Foster, R.F. (1988). Modern Ireland 1600-1972. London: Allen Lane.
Hennessey, Thomas. (1997). A History of Northern Ireland, 1920-1996. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.
Jackson, Alvin. (2004). Home Rule: An Irish Hstory, 1800-2000. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
Jackson, Alvin. (1999). Ireland 1798-1998: politics and war. Oxford: Blackwell.
Patterson, Henry. (2006). Ireland since 1939: Modernisation and the Persistence of Conflict (Revised and updated edition). Dublin: Penguin.
Stewart, A.T.Q. (1967). The Ulster Crisis. London: Faber.
Stewart, A.T.Q. (1989). The Narrow Ground: the Roots of the Conflict in Ulster. London: Faber.


An Crann The Tree. (2000). Bear in Mind: Stories of the Troubles. Belfast: Lagan Press / An Crann.
Fay, M.T., Morrissey, M., and Smyth, M. (1997). Mapping Troubles-Related Deaths in Northern Ireland 1969-1998 (2nd ed.). Derry: INCORE, University of Ulster.
Fay, M.T., Morrissey, M., and Smyth, M. (1999). Northern Ireland's Troubles: The Human Costs. London: Pluto Press.
McKittrick, David., Kelters, Seamus., Feeney, Brian., and Thornton, Chris. (1999). Lost Lives: The stories of the men, women and children who died as a result of the Northern Ireland troubles. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing.
Smyth, M., and Fay, M.T., (2000). Personal Accounts from Northern Ireland's Troubles: Public Conflict, Private Loss. London: Pluto Press.
Sutton, Malcolm. (1994). Bear in Mind these Dead: An Index of Deaths from the Conflict in Ireland, 1969-1993. Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications.

The Paramilitaries

Alonso, Rogelio. (2007). The IRA and Armed Struggle. London: Routledge.
Bell, J.Bowyer. (1989). The Secret Army: The IRA 1916-1979. Dublin: Poolbeg.
Bishop, P., and Mallie, E. (1987). The Provisional IRA. London: Corgi Books.
Bolton, D. (1973). The UVF 1966-73: An Anatomy of Loyalist Rebellion. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.
Bruce, Steve. (1992). The Red Hand: Protestant Paramilitaries in Northern Ireland. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Collins, Eamonn. (1996). Killing Rage. London: Jonathan Cape.
Coogan, Tim Pat. (1987). The IRA. London: Harper Collins.
Cusack, Jim., and McDonald, Henry. (1997). The UVF. Dublin: Poolbeg.
Dillon, Martin. (1989). The Shankill Butchers: a Case Study for Mass Murder. London: Hutchinson.
Dillon, Martin. (1996). Twenty Five Years of Terror: The IRA's War Against the British. London: Bantam (Transworld Publishers Ltd).
English, Richard. (2003). Armed Struggle: A History of the IRA. London: Macmillan.
Harnden, Toby. (1999). 'Bandit Country': The IRA and South Armagh. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
Holland, Jack., and McDonald, Henry. (1994). INLA: Deadly Divisions. Dublin: Torc.
Moloney, Ed. (2002). A Secret History of the IRA. London: Penguin Books.
O'Brien, Brendan. (1999). The Long War: The IRA and Sinn Fein (2nd ed.). Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.
O'Brien, Brendan. (2000). Pocket History of the IRA: from 1916 onwards. Dublin: O'Brien.
O'Callaghan, S. (1999). The Informer. London: Corgi Books.
Patterson, Henry. (1989). The Politics of Illusion: Republicanism and Socialism in Modern Ireland. London: Hutchinson Radius.
Taylor, Peter. (1997). Provos: The IRA and Sinn Fein. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Taylor, Peter. (1999). Loyalists. London: Bloomsbury.
Toolis, Kevin. (1995). Rebel Hearts: Journeys within the IRA's Soul. London: Picador.

The Security Forces

Dewar, Michael. (Colonel). (1997). The British Army in Northern Ireland. London: Arms and Armour.
Greer, S. (1995). Supergrasses: A Study in Anti-terrorist Law Enforcement in Northern Ireland. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Holland, Jack. (1997). Phoenix: Policing the Shadows, The Secret War Against Terrorism in Northern Ireland. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
Murray, Raymond. (1990). The SAS in Ireland 1969-1989. Cork: Mercier Press.
Murray, Raymond. (1998). State Violence: Northern Ireland 1969-1997. Dublin: Mercier Press.
Ní Aoláin, Fionnuala. (2000). The Politics Of Force: Conflict Management and State Violence in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Taylor, Peter. (2001). Brits: The War Against the IRA. London: Bloomsbury.
Rolston, Bill. (2000). Unfinished Business: State Killings and the Quest for Truth. Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications.
Ryder, Chris. (1997). The RUC 1922-1997: A Force Under Fire. London: Mandarin.
Stalker, John. (1988). Stalker. London: Harrap Ltd.


(see also the suggested reading and list of sources in each of the key events)

Anderson, Don. (1994). 14 May Days: The Inside Story of the Loyalist Strike of 1974. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan Ltd.
Arthur, Paul. (1974). The People's Democracy 1968-1972. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Bell, J.Bowyer. (1996). In Dubious Battle - The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings 1972-1974. Dublin: Poolbeg Press.
Beresford, David. (1987). Ten Men Dead: The Story of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike. London: Grafton.
Campbell, Brian. McKeown, Laurence., and O'Hagan, Felim. (eds.). (1994). Nor Meekly Serve My Time: The H-Block Struggle of 1976-1981. Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications.
McCann, Eamonn., and Shiels, Maureen. (eds.). (1992). Bloody Sunday in Derry: What Really Happened. Dingle: Brandon Books.
McDaniel, Denzil. (1997). Enniskillen: The Remembrance Day Bombing. Dublin: Wolfhound.
Mullan, Don. (1997). Eyewitness Bloody Sunday: The Truth. Dublin: Wolfhound.
Mullin, Chris. (1980). Error of Judgement: The Truth about the Birmingham Pub Bombings. Dublin: Poolbeg Press.
Pringle, Peter., and Jacobson, Philip. (2000). Those are real bullets, aren't they? Bloody Sunday, Derry, 30 January 1972. London: Fourth Estate.
Purdie, B. (1990). Politics in the Streets: The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.


(see also the suggested reading and list of sources in each of the key issues)

Bryan, Dominic. (2000). Orange Parades: The Politics of Ritual, Tradition and Control. London: Pluto Press.
Cairns, E. (1987). Caught in the Crossfire: Children and the Northern Ireland conflict. Belfast: Appletree Press.
Ellison, Graham., and Smyth, Jim. (2000). The Crowned Harp: Policing Northern Ireland. London: Pluto Press.
Jarman, N. (1997). Material Conflicts: Parades and visual displays in Northern Ireland. Oxford: Berg.
McGarry, John., and O'Leary, Brendan. (1999). Policing Northern Ireland: Proposals for a New Start. Belfast: Blackstaff.
Miller, D. (1994). Don't Mention the War: Northern Ireland, Propaganda and the Media. London: Pluto Press.
Sales, Rosemary. (1997). Women Divided: Gender, Religion and Politics in Northern Ireland. London: Routledge.

Peace Process

Aughey, Arthur. (2005). The Politics Of Northern Ireland: Beyond the Belfast Agreement. Oxford: Routledge.
Bew, Paul., Patterson, Henry., and Teague, Paul. (2000). Northern Ireland: Between War and Peace; The Political Future of Northern Ireland (2nd edition). London: Scarecrow.
Bew, P., and Gillespie, G. (1996). The Northern Ireland Peace Process 1993-1996: A Chronology. London: Serif
Cox, Michael., Guelke, Adrian., and Stephen, Fiona. (Eds.). (2000). A farewell to arms?: From 'long war' to long peace in Northern Ireland. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Darby, John., and Mac Ginty, Roger. (Eds.). (2000). The Management of Peace Processes. London: Macmillan Press Ltd.
Dixon, Paul. (2006). The Northern Ireland Peace Process: Choreography and Theatrical Politics. London: Routledge.
Farrington, Christopher. (2006). Ulster Unionism and the Peace Process in Northern Ireland. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Gilligan, Chris., and Tonge, Jon. (eds). (1997). Peace or War?: Understanding the Peace Process in Northern Ireland. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Hennessey, Thomas. (2000). The Northern Ireland Peace Process: Ending the Troubles?. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.
Mallie, Eamonn., and McKittrick, David. (1996). The Fight for Peace: The Secret Story Behind the Irish Peace Process. London: Heinemann.
McKittrick, David. (1994). Endgame - The Search for Peace in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Mitchell, George (Senator). (1999). Making Peace. London: William Heinemann.
Rowan, Brian. (1995). Behind the Lines: The Story of the IRA and Loyalist Ceasefires. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Tonge, Jonathan. (2005). The New Northern Irish Politics? Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.


Aughey, Arthur. (1989). Under Siege: Ulster Unionism and the Anglo-Irish Agreement.. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Aughey, Arthur., and Morrow, Duncan. (eds.). (1996). Northern Ireland Politics. Harlow: Longman.
Bruce, Steve. (1994). The Edge of the Union: The Ulster Loyalist Political Vision. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cochrane, F. (1997). Unionist Politics and the Politics of Unionism since the Anglo-Irish Agreement. Cork: Cork University Press.
Connolly, Michael. (1990). Politics and Policy Making in Northern Ireland. London: Philip Allan.
Lynn, Brendan. (1997). Holding the Ground: The Nationalist Party in Northern Ireland, 1945-1972. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Patterson, Henry., and Kaufmann, Eric. (2007). Unionism and Orangeism in Northern Ireland Since 1945. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Porter, Norman. (1996). Rethinking Unionism: An Alternative Vision for Northern Ireland. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Staunton, Enda. (2001). The Nationalists of Northern Ireland 1918-1973. The Columba Press.


Brewer, John.D., and Higgins, Gareth I. (1998). Anti-Catholicism in Northern Ireland, 1600-1998: The Mote and the Beam. Basingstoke: Macmillan.
Bruce, Steve. (1986). God Save Ulster: The religion and politics of Paisleyism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Cooke, Dennis. (1996). Persecuting Zeal: A Portrait of Ian Paisley. Dingle: Brandon Press.
Devlin, B. (1969). The Price of My Soul. London: Pan Books Ltd.
Hume, John. (1996). Personal Views, Politics, Peace and Reconciliation in Ireland. Dublin: Town House.
Routledge, Paul. (1997). John Hume: the Biography. London: Harper Collins.
Sands, Bobby. (1997). Bobby Sands: Writings from Prison. Boulder, Colo.: Roberts Rinehart Publishers.
Sharrock, David., and Devenport, Mark. (1997). Man of War, Man of Peace?: the Unathorised Biography of Gerry Adams. London: Macmillan.

Other Books

Adams, Gerry. (1994). Selected Writings. Dingle: Brandon Books.
Adams, Gerry. (1995). Free Ireland: Towards a Lasting Peace (Previous ed. published as, Politics of Irish Freedom). Dingle: Brandon Books.
Arthur, Paul., and Jeffery, Keith. (1996). Northern Ireland since 1968 (2nd edition). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Bell, J.Bowyer. (1990). IRA: Tactics and Targets. Dublin: Poolbeg.
Bloomfield, D. (1998). Political Dialogue in Northern Ireland: the Brooke Initiative 1989-92. London: Macmillan Press.
Bloomfield, David. (1997). Peacemaking Strategies in Northern Ireland: Building Complementarity in Conflict Management Theory. Basingstoke: Macmillan.
Boyd, A. (1969). Holy War in Belfast. Dublin: Anvil Books.
Bryson, L., and McCartney, C. (1994). Clashing Symbols: A report on the use of flags, anthems and other national symbols in Northern Ireland. Belfast: The Institute of Irish Studies.
Darby, John. (1976). Conflict in Northern Ireland: The Development of' a Polarised Community. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.
Darby, John. (1986). Intimidation and the Control of Conflict in Northern Ireland. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.
De Paor, Liam. (1990). Unfinished Business: Ireland Today and Tomorrow. London: Hutchinson Radius.
Deutsch, R., and Magowan, V. (1973). Northern Ireland 1968-1973: A Chronology, of Events Vol. 1: 1968-1971. Belfast, Blackstaff Press.
Deutsch, R., and Magowan, V. (1974). Northern Ireland 1968-1973. A Chronology, of Events Vol. 2:1972-1973. Belfast, Blackstaff Press.
Deutsch, R., and Magowan, V. (1975). Northern Ireland 1968-1974: A Chronology, of Events Vol. 3: 1974. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Dickson, Brice. (1997). Civil Liberties in Northern Ireland: The CAJ Handbook (3rd ed.). Belfast: Committee on the Administration of Justice.
Dillon, Martin. (1991). The Dirty War, London: Arrow Books Ltd.
Dillon, Martin. (1993). Stone Cold. London: Arrow.
Dillon, Martin. (1998). God and the Gun: The Church and Irish Terrorism. London: Orion.
Downey, J. (1998). Lenihan: His Life and Loyalties. Dublin: New Island Books.
Hamber, Brandon. (Ed.). (1998). Past Imperfect: Dealing with the Past in Northern Ireland and Societies in Transition. Derry: INCORE / University of Ulster.
Jarman, N., and Bryan, D. (1996). Parade and Protest: A Discussion of Parading, Disputes in Northern Ireland. Coleraine: Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster.
Jarman, N., and Bryan, D. (1998). From Riots To Rights: Nationalist Parades in the, North of Ireland. Coleraine: Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster.
Jones, R.D., Kane, J.S., Wallace, R., Sloan, D., and Courtney, B. (1996). The Orange Citadel. A history of Orangeism in Portadown District. Portadown: Cultural Heritage Committee.
Kaufmann, Eric. (2007). The Orange Order: A Contemporary Northern Irish History. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
McElrath, Karen. (2000). Unsafe Haven: The United States, The IRA and Political Prisoners. London: Pluto Press.
Morgan, V., Dunn, S., Cairns, E., and Fraser, G. (1992). Breaking the Mould: The, Role of Parents and Teachers in the Integrated Schools in Northern Ireland. Coleraine: The Centre for the Study of Conflict University of Ulster.
Nelson, S. (1984). Ulster's Uncertain Defenders: Protestant Political, Paramilitary, and Community Groups and the Northern Ireland Conflict. Belfast: Appletree Press.
O'Day, A. (ed.). (1995). Terrorism 's Laboratory: The Case of Northern Ireland. Hants: Dartmouth Publishing Company Limited.
O'Dochartaigh, N. (1997). From Civil Rights to Armalites: Derry and the Birth of the Irish Troubles. Cork: Cork University Press.
O'Leary, Brendan. Lyne, Tyne. Marshall, Jim., and Rowthorn, Bob. (1993). Northern Ireland: Sharing Authority. London: Institute for Public Policy Research.
Outhwaite, W., and Bottomore, T. (Eds). (1993). The Blackwell Dictionary of Twentieth Century Social Thought. Blackwell Reference.
Parker, Tony. (1993). May the Lord in His Mercy Be Kind to Belfast. London: Cape.
Porter, Norman. (Ed.). (1998). The Republican Ideal: Current Perspectives. Belfast: The Blackstaff Press.
Restorick, Rita. (2000). Death of a Soldier: A mother's search for peace. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Roiston, B. (1995). Drawing Support 2: Murals of War and Peace. Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications.
Rolston, B., and Miller, D. (1996). War and Words: The Northern Ireland Media Reader. Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications.
Rose, Peter. (2000). How the Troubles Came to Northern Ireland. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press Ltd.
Rowthorn, Bob., and Wayne, Naomi. (1988). Northern Ireland: The Political Economy of Conflict. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Ruane, Joseph., and Todd, Jennifer. (1996). The Dynamics of Conflict in Northern Ireland: Power, Conflict and Emancipation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Seaton, Craig. (1998). Northern Ireland: The Context for Conflict and for Reconciliation. Maryland: University Press of America, Inc.
Shirlow, Peter., and McGovern, Mark. (1997). Who Are 'The People'? Unionism, Protestantism and Loyalism in Northern Ireland. London: Pluto Press.
Stewart, A.T.Q. (1997). Edward Carson. Belfast: Blackstaff.
Townshend, Charles. (1988). Consensus in Ireland: Approaches and Recessions. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Wichert, S. (1991). Northern Ireland Since 1945. London: Longman.
Wilson, Andrew J. (1995). Irish America and the Ulster Conflict, 1968-1995. Belfast: Blackstaff.
Wilson, Desmond. (1997). Democracy Denied. Cork: Mercier Press.
Wright, Frank. (1996). Two Lands on One Soil: Ulster Politics before Home Rule. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.


CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within Ulster University.

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