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The path to freedom

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documents in English
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book reviews
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5 pages
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  1. Summary/examination.
  2. Advance and use our liberties.
  3. The proof of success.
  4. Four historic years.
  5. Collapse of the terror.
  6. Partition Act's failure.
  7. Why Britain sought Irish peace.
  8. Distinctive culture.
  9. Freedom within our grasp.
  10. Evaluation.

This book as a whole does not tell a story; that is, the trace of events and the overall course of Irish independence don't go from beginning to end and tell. Rather, each chapter depicts a significant time period in the history of Ireland that Collins, the author, witnessed. Everything is more or less in chronological order but it would be more accurate to say that each chapter told its own story. However, to state the obvious: the book is about Ireland's difficult but triumphant struggle for freedom?freedom of Britain and the long-sought after but denied freedom that was a human right. As Collins put it, ??it was freedom we sought for, not the name of the form of government we should adopt when we got our freedom.?

[...] This book was extremely helpful on certain key events and turning points in Irish history, but for someone who has no background on the subject, it's a little difficult to follow. It immediately delved in to these specific moments and times of Irish history that I had to really think about and put pieces together in order to understand. At first, I thought reading a book of a prominent political figure's speeches and articles was going to be well, a bore, since usually speeches and articles of such people are so loquacious that it's hard to get the point when it's surrounded by the shadows and fog of English semantics. [...]


[...] The National Government began to set up courts, police departments, and banks. Britain mocked Ireland at first but grew alarmed when its own power began to disintegrate. Britain engaged in a series of attempts to quiet the Irish. They murdered and wounded over four hundred Irishmen in a rebellion, broke up meetings everywhere, suppressed national newspapers, arrested over one thousand Irish men and women, and deported national leaders. Ireland was not discouraged. In the elections of 1920, the people stood by their decision as the majority surpassed that of 1918. [...]


[...] I wondered if it was Britain that played the scapegoat here, but further evidence in the text to support such a notion was not found. I also tried to remember how Catholicism and Protestantism came to be in Ireland, but decided it was irrelevant. I also noticed the way Collins contradicted himself. He once said that Ireland sought only freedom, not the technicalities that came with a self- governing country. However, in this chapter, he speaks of the unification of Ireland and how northeast Ireland belonged to Ireland, not Great Britain. [...]

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