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Bandit Country: The IRA and South Armagh

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It's impossible to cram all the history and all the events into a digestible format and the author did a fantastic job of laying out the history, the characters and the sequence of events from the 1970's to the Good Friday agreement. The author provides numerous accounts from former serving members of the British Army and RUC confirming that, due to the level of threat from the Provisional IRA in South Armagh, they only left the likes of the heavily fortified Crossmaglen barracks by helicopter and even the garbage bins had to be emptied by the same method. More fascinating stories were learned, but nothing that told the why it all began or told the stories of The IRA.

Drawing on secret documents and interviews in South Armagh’s recent history, he tells the inside story of how the IRA came close to bringing the British state to its knees. This account of the IRA activities in South Armagh in Northern Ireland was recommended to me by a former colleague and dear friend. We give people around the world the opportunity to contribute to the circular economy, earn money and protect the planet, by trading their unwanted books and media. But there are also details of how loyalist paramilitaries were assisted by RUC members - I want this book to be read by both 'sides' in the conflict rather than seen as a polemical work pushing a particular political agenda. The academic trend in COIN has been to take several isolated guerrilla campaigns and analyze them for kernels of wisdom to apply to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Essential reading for anyone with an interest in the Province it has an unrivalled level of information. This book ends on a somewhat ominous note, strongly suggesting that Sinn Fein participation in the Stormont government is simply a Trojan Horse for the continued goal of Irish unification and the "Brits Out" campaign--war by other means, if you will. This book is a must read and if you are only to ever read one book on the situation in Northern Ireland, well this is it.You should take care when trying on items to ensure that clothing is not stained with fake tan, make-up deodorant etc.

Second, it's all about military operations by the IRA in South Armagh and doesn't attempt to deal with the internal politics of Sinn Fein or the IRA. That's not easy to do even when presenting two viewpoints or opinions with fictional characters; how Harnden managed it with real people in a real situation is beyond me.

Focusing on both issues of his homeland and further afield, he seeks to translate stories of society to a photographic audience. Toby Harnden's book, Bandit Country, is an incredible glance at the unbeaten, undefeated South Armagh.

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