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The Border

The Legacy of a Century of Anglo-Irish Politics
Narrated by: Aidan Kelly
Length: 5 hrs and 4 mins
Categories: History, European
4.5 out of 5 stars (74 ratings)

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Summary

For the past two decades, you could cross the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic half a dozen times without noticing or, indeed, without turning off the road you were travelling. It cuts through fields, winds back and forth across roads and wends from the mouth of the Newry River to the mouth of the Foyle. It's frictionless - a feat sealed by the Good Friday Agreement. 

Before that, watchtowers loomed over border communities, military checkpoints dotted the roads and bridges had been demolished to prevent crossings. This is a past that most are happy to have left behind, but it may also be the future.  

The Irish Republic-Northern Ireland border has been a topic of dispute for over a century, first in Dublin, Belfast and Westminster and now, post referendum, in Brussels. Diarmaid Ferriter charts its history from the divisive 1920s Act to the Treaty and its aftermath, through 'the Troubles' and the Good Friday Agreement up to the Brexit negotiations. With the fate of the border uncertain, The Border is a timely intervention into one of the most contentious and misunderstood political issues of our time.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.

©2019 Diarmaid Ferriter (P)2019 Hachette Audio UK

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Lots of dates

Perhaps not easily digestible in audio form for everyone. Some folk might appreciate this more if they're able to keep track of dates and names on paper. I found myself getting a little lost, especially in areas/decades where I had very little background knowledge. The content is solid, the narrator was good, but the scope of the task and the speed with which we moved through time made it hard to grapple with everything in the book.

That said, I might just listen again to the chapters I struggled with.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A brilliant overview

I loved this book. A thoroughly engaging listen that gave a really up to date view of recent Irish history.

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Everyone should read this book.

I found this book instructive and enjoyable. Well researched, and well structured. I learned a lot from it and I will be referencing it often in the future. I will be ordering a paper copy for the bookshelf *****

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    3 out of 5 stars

Reasonably good

We read this book for a book club.

What the book does very well is describe the evolving perspectives and priorities of Britain and the Republic of Ireland on NI, and in places vividly depict the realities of life near the border.

The key weaknesses is that the book is neither short and basic enough for those without a basic understanding of the key historical events (colonisation, bloody Sunday), not long enough to give real detail into those key events. So while the book is solid, we weren't sure it was really ideal for anyone.