John Hume: A Biography
by Paul Routledge
(hardback; 20.00 IRP / 30.00 USD)
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From humble beginnings in the terraced streets of Londonderry, John Hume emerged as the only true statesman of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The undisputed leader of the nationalistic community, he is as much at home in the White House as he is in the Bogside of Derry, calming a tense people.
This new biography, written with Hume's full co-operation but entirely independent, explores his origins and charts his rise to influence throught he civil rights movements in the late 1960s. John Hume's philosophy of non-violence became a key guiding influence in the minds of his people, and brought many reforms despite the terrorism that has disrupted life in Northern Ireland for nearly thirty years.
Hume showed that power-sharing could work, but had to endure the tragedy of his government being wrecked by extremists. He refused to allow setbacks to divert him from the pursuit of his vision - a new Ireland, where both communities could live and work together in peace, and co-exist with the Irish Republic.
This is the story of a man who rejected the politics of violence, who founded a modern outward-looking Social Democratic party with strong European links. A man who went the extra mile to persuade the IRA to lay down their guns, who gave his people the longest period of peace most of them have ever known, and who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. A man who still fights for what he believes in, because he is convinced he is right.
The author of the book, Paul Routledge, is political correspondent for Independent on Sunday (England) and has covered the events in Northern Ireland since the late 1960s.
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