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This Troubled Land: Voices from Northern Ireland on the Front Lines of Peace

Rucker, Patrick Michael

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ISBN 10: 0345446704 / ISBN 13: 9780345446701
Published by Ballantine Books, New York, 2002
Condition: Very good Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

[8], 230, [1] p. On the 30th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, here are the deeply moving thoughts and feelings of those living in Northern Ireland today and how these men and women are faring in this new era of reconciliation. First edition. First edition stated. First printing stated. Bookseller Inventory # 64523

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Bibliographic Details

Title: This Troubled Land: Voices from Northern ...

Publisher: Ballantine Books, New York

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very good

Dust Jacket Condition: very good

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


When American journalist Patrick Michael Rucker learned of the Northern Ireland peace accord signed on Good Friday, 1998, he knew he had to return. Rucker had last seen this torn country in 1991, when “the troubles” raged at a fever pitch of daily bombings and murder. Could such a violently divided society truly live in peace? What had changed? In the fall of 1998, Rucker returned to Belfast to see for himself, and this stark, gritty, spellbinding book is his report.

A fearless and brilliant reporter, Rucker sought out victims and killers, leading IRA terrorists and the loyalist counterparts bent on assassinating them, British soldiers and innocent bystanders swept helplessly into an endless undeclared war. Rucker watched as Michelle Williamson chained herself outside a prison to protest the release of the IRA prisoner whose bomb killed her innocent parents. He visited the hospital room of Liam Cairns, a young man abducted by an IRA “punishment gang” and beaten beyond recognition. He tracked down the children of Jean McConville, a widow abducted and killed decades ago for aiding a British solider–a tragic mistake that the IRA finally was ready to admit. There are scores of encounters like these in the pages of This Troubled Land, shocking portraits of a society caught in a nightmare of rage and despair.

But as Rucker discovers, despair has now begun to give way to a different mood–not forgiveness and reconciliation, exactly, for the wounds are still too raw, but a weary longing for closure. Rucker sees glimmers of hope in a Protestant mother murmuring an apology to a Catholic widow, in talk of forgetting the past, in the jarring vision of a glass-roofed double-decker bus carrying tourists down Belfast’s Madrid Street, where just a few years ago bullets flew between the Catholics and the Protestants.

In vivid, electrifying prose, Rucker captures the soul of a country at a critical juncture, a country finally putting the darkest moments of its past behind and daring to look ahead.

About the Author:

Patrick Michael Rucker was born in Portland, Oregon in 1974. He has lived in Belfast since 1998 and has reported on the aftermath of the Good Friday Peace Accord for The Boston Globe, the New York Daily News, National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” and Newsweek.

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Founded and operated by trained historians, Ground Zero Books, Ltd., serves the book collector, the scholar, and institutions. We focus on the individual, and pride ourselves on our personal service. Please contact us with your wants, as we have many books not yet listed in our database.

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