As I reported several days ago, my review of John Crawley’s The Yank (Melville House, 2022) is now on the internet. You can read it at https://www.washingtonindependentreviewofbooks.com/bookreview/the-yank-the-true-story-of-a-former-us-marine-in-the-irish-republican-army
As I noted in the review, because my background is Irish, I am more interested than most in “The Troubles,” the thirty-year-long disquiet in Ireland between the largely Catholic republicans, who wanted the six counties of Northern Ireland, a British possession, to become part of the independent Republic of Ireland; and the largely Protestant loyalists, who wanted Northern Ireland to remain in the United Kingdom. The Troubles ended with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that restored self-government to Northern Ireland on the basis of “power sharing” with the U.K. The pact stipulated that Northern Ireland would remain in the U.K. until a majority of people in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland wished otherwise. During The Troubles, more than 3,500 people were killed.
I was more than a little fascinated by the book’s author, John Crawley. He was born in the U.S., but his parents were Irish immigrants who took him back to Ireland at age 14. He returned to the U.S. at 18, joined the U.S. Marine Corps, took every kind of training he could get, then left the corps to return to Ireland to join the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in its fight against the occupying British.
More next time.