[Marxism] Review of Marisa McGlinchey's 'Unfinished Business' (about Irish revolutionary republicans)
philipferguson8 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 19 00:09:45 MDT 2019
Marisa McGlinchey, Unfinished Business: the politics of ‘dissident’ Irish
republicanism, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2019, 231pp;
reviewed by Philip Ferguson
Marisa McGlinchey’s book should be read by all radical republicans,
Marxists and anyone else genuinely interested in national liberation and
socialism in Ireland.
Don’t be put off by the fact that the back cover features praise for the
book from the likes of Lord Bew of the Stickies and Richard English, both
of whom have carved out well-rewarded academic niches writing attacks on
republicanism and producing material that can only aid British
imperialism. Their reasons for praising the book are entirely different
from those of anti-imperialists.
There are two key strengths to this book.
One is that it is based on on a substantial set of interviews (90 in all)
the author conducted with republicans opposed to the Good Friday Agreement
and the Provo leadership’s move into the service of the British state and
the statelets which are the result of partition in Ireland and the Provos’
move from sort sort of vision of socialism to embracing the market and
The other strength is that she largely lets the interviewees speak for
themselves, rather than trying to stitch them up. Thus, for instance, she
refrains from referring to them in the book as “dissident” republicans –
the book’s sub-title was chosen, presumably, by the publisher. Instead,
she refers to them by the much more accurate term of “radical republicans”
and treats them as rational political activists rather than some kind of
pathology. . .
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