The Troubles, The Boxer, The Informer and more

The Troubles, The Boxer, The Informer and more






The events in Ukraine in the late winter and spring of 2014 provided a rare glimpse of a European revolution in real time. On the scene was Yale professor Marci Shore, an intellectual historian with deep connections to the Ukraine and its fighters for liberal democracy. From her personal encounter with the Maidan came a new book, The Ukrainian Night. We spoke to Shore about Ukraine’s struggle for autonomy and its internal battles, as well as the arrival of a “post-truth” era in Eastern Europe and in the U.S. You can read the interview here.


Liam O’FLaherty’s grimy tale of greed, innocence, and retribution casts a light on the psychological workings of the Provisional IRA. Gypo Nolan, a slow-witted ex-cop, betrays a close friend and comrade to the police for the reward money and faces the full wrath of the underground army as they hunt him down over the course of this brilliant and brutal book. It was published in 1925 and as is as dark as any current work of anti-heroism.


Veteran Irish director Jim Sheridan filmed this 1997 drama with Daniel Day-Lewis and Emily Watson. Lewis plays Danny Flynn, an ex-pugilist and IRA man fresh out of prison after a stint that has consumed some of his best years (he went in at 18 and emerged at 32). He wants nothing more than to put his past behind him and to do what he can to heal the sectarian wounds of his country. The past, however, has its own ideas . . .

ON THIS DAY IN 1998 . . .

. . . a funny thing happened in Northern Ireland. The Good Friday Agreement, concluded the previous month, was accepted in a popular referendum by an enormous majority of 75 percent. The Agreement delivered a number of essential steps in the peace process: the basis of a devolved government in Northern Ireland, the creation of a cluster of cross-border institutions that linked Norther Ireland and the Republic Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and the U.K. It also opened the long and difficult process of decomissioning weapons held by paramilitaries in the north and of normalizing security arrangements there.