Bobby Sands

Bobby Sands : Nothing But an Unfinished Song

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Description

'An excellent book...[Bobby is] alive and vibrant on every page. Most importantly, the book traces the development of an ordinary boy from a working class background to the highly politicised, articulate revolutionary that he became in later years.' Dr Laurence McKeown, author, playwright and former IRA prisoner who joined the hunger strike led by Bobby Sands 'An excellent book. It tells not just the story of Bobby, the prison protest and hunger strikes but accurately captures the atmosphere of the prison...Bobby is alive and vibrant on every page." 'The life of a truly remarkable young man ...how he grew from a plucky lad into a deeply committed, sensitive, anti-imperialist revolutionary. [This book] has a message that will find interest everywhere.' Mumia Abu-Jamal 'Denis O'Hearn in his gripping, heart stopping, exhilarating sometimes sad book, Bobby Sands, tells an extraordinary story of life, love and noble death...A grand and inspiring book by a grand and inspiring writer.' Malachy McCourt 'Bobby Sands, as this magnificent biography reminds us, was a hero for the whole world and yet broad Belfast to the core. We cried when he died, but he laughed in the face of tyranny and taught us the deepest meaning of comradeship.' Mike Davis At seventeen, Bobby Sands was interested in music, girls and soccer. Ten years later, he led his fellow prisoners on a protest that grabbed the world's attention. Bobby Sands turned twenty-seven on hunger strike, after spending almost nine years in prison because of his activities as a member of the Irish Republican Army. When he died on May 5, 1981, on the sixty-sixth day of his hunger strike against repressive conditions in Northern Ireland's H-Block prisons, parliaments across the world stopped for a minute's silence in his honour. Nelson Mandela followed his example and led a similar hunger strike in South Africa. Bobby Sands' remarkable life and death have made him the Irish Che Guevara. He is an enduring figure of resistance whose life has inspired millions around the world. But until the publication of this book, nothing has adequately explored the motivation of the hunger strikers, nor recreated this period of history from within the prison cell. Denis O'Hearn's powerful biography, which contains an enormous amount of new material based on primary research and interviews, illuminates for the first time this enigmatic, controversial and heroic figure.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 148 x 228 x 32mm | 662.26g
  • PLUTO PRESS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745325726
  • 9780745325729
  • 1,388,360

About Denis O'Hearn

Denis O'Hearn was born in New Mexico and is of Irish and Native Alaskan (Aleut) ancestry. He moved to Belfast in the 1970s, where he was a student and a journalist. His articles for In These Times and the Guardian introduced the Irish 'H-Blocks' prison conflict to the broad audience of progressives in the US. Since the mid-1990s he has taught at Queens University in Belfast, where he is professor of social and economic change. He was a Fulbright Scholar at University College Dublin in 1991-92 and, jointly with his work at Queens, he is now professor of sociology at the University of Binghamton in New York. He lives in Belfast.show more

Review quote

The life of a truly remarkable young man: Bobby Sands ... how he grew from a plucky lad into a deeply committed, sensitive, anti-imperialist revolutionary, and how he, in turn, transformed the Nationalist Movement into a deeper, broader one. ... The life of Bobby Sands shows development, growth, maturation, and a profoundly humanistic internationalist flavor, in the midst of a bitter, ugly struggle that can purge the humanity out of anyone. The work also presents us with a picture not merely of the armed combatant, but of his love of music, and stories, and how he used these gifts to lift the spirits of his mates in the darkest of days. Nothing But An Unfinished Song is the story of how Irish nationalists battled British occupation, sectarian violence, and broken spirits. It has a message that will find interest everywhere. -- Mumia Abu-Jamal Denis O'Hearn in his gripping, heart stopping, exhilarating sometimes sad book, Bobby Sands, tells an extraordinary story of life, love and noble death...A grand and inspiring book by a grand and inspiring writer. -- Malachy McCourt Bobby Sands, as this magnificent biography reminds us, was a hero for the whole world and yet broad Belfast to the core. We cried when he died, but he laughed in the face of tyranny and taught us the deepest meaning of comradeship. -- Mike Davis An excellent book. It tells not just the story of Bobby, the prison protest and hunger strikes but accurately captures the atmosphere of the prison. Friends and comrades of Bobby tell of the person they knew -- [so Bobby is] alive and vibrant on every page. Most importantly, the book traces the development of a very ordinary, politically naive boy from a working class background on the outskirts of Belfast to the highly politicised, articulate, prolific, competent revolutionary that he became in later years. -- Dr Laurence McKeown, former IRA prisoner who joined the hunger strike led by Bobby Sands. He is an author and playwright and Research Coordinator with Coiste na nIarchimi, the republican ex-prisoners' network in Ireland.show more

Table of contents

Prelude ix Chapter 1. Growing Up in Utopia 1 Chapter 2. Violence and Anger 9 Chapter 3. Into the IRA 17 Chapter 4. A Change of Scene 25 Chapter 5. A Trip to the South 39 Chapter 6. Prison 45 Chapter 7. Things Get Hot 59 Chapter 8. Learning to Rebel 69 Chapter 9. Leaving Long Kesh 89 Chapter 10. Putting It into Practice 97 Chapter 11. A Bad Day in Dunmurry 113 Chapter 12. Castlereagh 127 Chapter 13. Back to Prison 143 Chapter 14. Solitary Confinement 157 Chapter 15. On the Blanket 165 Chapter 16. Escalating the Protest 179 Chapter 17. H6: Building Solidarity Within 211 Chapter 18. H6: Extending the Protest 227 Chapter 19. Toward the Inevitable 247 Chapter 20. Hunger Strike 275 Chapter 21. Step by Step 303 Chapter 22. The End 333 Chapter 23. The Beginning 371 Notes 387 Acknowledgements 421 Index 425show more

Rating details

130 ratings
4.3 out of 5 stars
5 52% (68)
4 30% (39)
3 15% (19)
2 2% (2)
1 2% (2)
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