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John Horgan: The Current Mood in Dublin, 19 December 1985

... up – is sharpened by a pervasive and probably accurate suspicion that the fine Italian hand of John Hume can be seen in the Irish Government glove. Indeed, one of the novelties of the whole affair has been the contrast between the Dublin Government’s patent desire to have the SDLP on its side (to the extent that even the hawkish Seamus Mallon has come ...

A Chance for the Irish Right

John Horgan, 21 April 1983

The Irish Labour Party in Transition 1957-82 
by Michael Gallagher.
Manchester, 326 pp., £19.50, January 1983, 0 7190 0866 2
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... The exploration of contemporary Irish politics is an exercise to be undertaken as gingerly as an afternoon stroll in the neighbourhood of Port Stanley, which is perhaps why relatively few political scientists have attempted it with any degree of confidence. Many of the things that happen, and many of the attitudes expressed, simply do not fit comfortably – or in some cases at all – into traditional categories of political analysis: no wonder the authors of one 1976 study quoted by Michael Gallagher in this valuable book described Ireland as a ‘persistent deviant case’: i ...

De Valera and Churchill

John Horgan, 21 July 1983

In Time of War 
by Robert Fisk.
Deutsch, 566 pp., £25, April 1983, 0 233 97514 4
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... When Michael Heseltine launched a not-too-oblique attack on Irish neutrality in the course of a visit to Northern Ireland on 4 May, he was – presumably – unaware of the fact that he was reopening a book which both Churchill and de Valera had decided peaceably to close almost exactly thirty years ago. That at any rate would be the charitable explanation ...

Reagan and Rosaleen

John Horgan, 21 June 1984

Prince of Spies: Henri Le Caron 
by J.A. Cole.
Faber, 221 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 571 13233 2
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... their tradition had provided as many as 11 US Presidents (including Grant and McKinley) before John F. Kennedy had ever been launched into public life. There is another group of American-Irish who have been largely forgotten: Catholics whose emigrant trail led them to the American South where, perhaps in the absence of suitable religious and pastoral ...

The Dynamitards

John Horgan, 19 January 1984

Political Violence in Ireland: Government and Resistance since 1848 
by Charles Townshend.
Oxford, 445 pp., £22.50, December 1983, 0 19 821753 6
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... or applied in the wrong combinations, and have always been threatened, as the English Liberal John Morley succinctly observed, by the fact that ‘the Irish are more provoked by the extension of force than they are gratified by the extension of justice.’ Townshend concludes: ‘history may suggest that certain realities lie outside the scope of ...

Local Heroes

John Horgan, 7 February 1985

Elections, Politics and Society in Ireland 1832-1885 
by Theodore Hoppen.
Oxford, 569 pp., £29.50, October 1984, 0 19 822630 6
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Ireland and the English Crisis 
by Tom Paulin.
Bloodaxe, 222 pp., £12.95, January 1985, 0 906427 63 0
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The Great Dan: A Biography of Daniel O’Connell 
by Charles Chenevix Trench.
Cape, 345 pp., £10.95, September 1984, 0 224 02176 1
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... In the 1840s, according to Theodore Hoppen’s densely-packed and illuminating study of Irish political realities, ‘bored’ British ministers ‘grappled with the tedious but mildly pressing problems of the Irish electorate’. Douglas Hurd may not yet be bored, but he would have difficulty in bettering the description of the problems he is facing ...

UK Law

John Horgan, 16 August 1990

Stolen Years: Before and After Guildford 
by Paul Hill and Ronan Bennett.
Doubleday, 287 pp., £12.99, June 1990, 0 385 40125 6
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Proved Innocent 
by Gerry Conlon.
Hamish Hamilton, 234 pp., £12.99, June 1990, 0 241 13065 4
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Cage Eleven 
by Gerry Adams.
Brandon, 156 pp., £4.95, June 1990, 0 86322 114 9
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The Poisoned Tree: The untold truth about the Police conspiracy to discredit John Stalker and destroy me 
by Kevin Taylor and Keith Mumby.
Sidgwick, 219 pp., £15, May 1990, 0 283 06056 5
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... At a time when half the Police Forces in Britain seem to be gainfully employed on investigations of the real or alleged misdeeds of the other half, the image of British justice, formerly as reliable and predictable as Mrs Thatcher’s attitude to Europe, faces us like something grinning out of a crazy mirror at a fairground: paunchy, knock-kneed, grotesque ...

Turtles All the Way Down

Walter Gratzer, 4 September 1997

The End of Science 
by John Horgan.
Little, Brown, 324 pp., £18.99, May 1997, 0 316 64052 2
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... What John Horgan means by his teasing title, inspired evidently by Francis Fukuyama’s view of history, is not that scientists will run out of work worthy of all that trouble and expense, but that the great discoveries, on which the intellectual edifice rests, have carried us up to or beyond the point of diminishing returns ...

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