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Before the Dawn: An Autobiography

Before the Dawn: An Autobiography (Paperback)

£7.99
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Synopsis

The controversial autobiography of the man at the heart of Irish Republican politics. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams offers his own unique, intimate account of the early years of his career, from his childhood in working-class Belfast to the more turbulent years of social activism that followed. An engaging and revealing self-portrait.



Born in West Belfast in 1948 into a family with close ties to both the trade union and republican movements, his childhood, despite its material poverty, he has described in glowing and humorous terms.



For many years his voice was banned from radio and television by both the British and Irish governments, while commentators and politicians condemned him and all he stood for. But through those years Brandon published a succession of books which made an important contribution to an understanding of the true circumstances of life and politics in the north of Ireland.



In his autobiography, Before the Dawn, Gerry Adams brings a unique perspective to the years of conflict, insurrection and bitter struggle which ensued when peaceful political agitation was met with hysterical reaction and the sectarian tinderbox of Britain's last colony erupted. From the pogroms of 1969 to the hunger strikes of 1981, from the streets of West Belfast to the cages of Long Kesh, his powerful memoir is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand modern Ireland.

President of Sinn Fein and TD for Louth, Gerry Adams has been a published writer since 1982. His books have won critical acclaim in many quarters and have been widely translated. His writings range from local history and reminiscence to politics and short stories, and they include the fullest and most authoritative exposition of modern Irish republicanism. Born in West Belfast in 1948 into a family with close ties to both the trade union and republican movements, Gerry Adams is the eldest of ten children. His mother was an articulate and gentle woman, his father a republican activist who had been jailed at the age of sixteen, and he was partly reared by his grandmother, who nurtured in him a love of reading. His childhood, despite its material poverty, he has described in glowing and humorous terms, recollecting golden hours spent playing on the slopes of the mountain behind his home and celebrating the intimate sense of community in the tightly packed streets of working-class West Belfast. But even before leaving school to work as a barman, he had become aware of the inequities and inequalities of life in the north of Ireland. Soon he was engaged in direct action on the issues of housing, unemployment and civil rights. For many years his voice was banned from radio and television by both the British and Irish governments, while commentators and politicians condemned him and all he stood for. But through those years his books made an important contribution to an understanding of the true circumstances of life and politics in the north of Ireland. James F. Clarity of the New York Times described him in the Irish Independent as "A good writer of fiction whose stories are not IRA agitprop but serious art."

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