“For those puzzled by Northern Ireland, Belfast Diary offers a well-written, sympathetic and clear-eyed view” of life during the Troubles (New York Times Book Review)
In the late 1960s, the ongoing conflict between the Protestant unionists and Catholic nationalists of Northern Ireland—divided by their stance on the country’s constitutional position as part of the United Kingdom—escalated to new, terrifying heights. Chicago journalist John Conroy was there on the frontlines, living among the people most affected by it. In Belfast Diary, Conroy offers a street-level view of life in a Catholic Ghetto in West Belfast, painting vivid portraits of its citizens and the violence they faced during the Troubles: bomb threats, murder, police brutality, and more.
Conroy’s recounting of this tumultuous moment in Northern Irish history has been hailed as the best explanation of the more than twenty-five-year conflict. Now with a new afterword, Belfast Diary conveys an understanding that is an essential prerequisite to peace: the resolution of intractable problems around the world requires understanding ordinary people as well as leaders.