Focusing on four case studies, William Beattie Smith traces the evolution of British policy from 1969–73 and depicts how easily a conflict over national identity can turn into bloodshed, grief, and horror; and how difficult it is to restore peace once a serious fight has started.
An excellent study of a crucial period of British policy towards Northern Ireland. The author has done a very good job in searching the archives and producing a clear and coherent narrative in a detail that has not been matched before. This book is a useful addition to the literature on the Northern Ireland conflict because it is informed by a close understanding of the historical evidence and an acute knowledge of how the British and Irish political system work."Paul Dixon, Kingston University