Book — ix, 332 p., 16 p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
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. He writes with affection of his mother, "an articulate and gentle woman, " of his father, a republican activist who had been jailed at the age of sixteen, and of his grandmother, who nurtured in him a love of reading. He describes his childhood, despite its material poverty, 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. Gerry Adams brings a unique perspective to the years of conflict, insurrection, and bitter struggle that ensued when, in his view, peaceful political agitation was met with hysterical reaction, and the sectarian tinder-box 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, this powerful memoir is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand modern Ireland. (source: Nielsen Book Data)