Rethinking unionism : an alternative vision for Northern Ireland /
Norman Porter.
Belfast : Blackstaff Press, 1996.
xiv, 252 p. ; 21 cm.
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Belfast : Blackstaff Press, 1996.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [233]-242) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1997-06:
Porter surveys the landscape of contemporary unionism in Northern Ireland and concludes, "It is not hard to paint a gloomy picture of unionism's destiny." Characterized by "paltry politics" and bedeviled by a lack of imagination, unionism, he notes, "offers a grim future." Nevertheless, Porter finds in unionism a potential for an "inclusive vision" of political life in Northern Ireland, a vision that takes seriously the need to acknowledge the reality of nonunionist accounts of the Northern Irish state. Porter thus constructs a vision of political life in terms of a "difference through openness" thesis that confronts with seriousness and respect both unionist and nonunionist understandings of Northern Irish life. Porter's thesis is serious, reflective, and at once personal and political. It represents an effort to connect unionist thought with larger understandings about the nature of political and communal life that no serious student of the troubles should ignore. Highly recommended for all audiences. J. E. Finn; Wesleyan University
Appeared in Library Journal on 1997-04-01:
Porter is a Unionist seeking light in the darkening room in which Ulster's Unionists now find themselves. The Irish Republic's influence in Ulster is growing, and British public opinion is losing patience with the Unionists. Porter at once disdains citizenship in the Republic, citing the precedents of British and international law that protect Ulster, and tongue-lashes Britain for potentially failing to uphold the Union. Recognizing that change is necessary, he calls for a new Unionist who will be a citizen of Northern Ireland, sensitive to the dual cultures, unaffiliated with any sectarian groups, and ultimately loyal to the Union of the United Kingdom. His book is a relatively sane and logical argument from a party known for its intractability. This densely argued, incomplete treatise needs much fleshing out to be practical. Still, it's an important book that any academic collection should get.‘Robert C. Moore, DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals, N. Billerica, Mass.
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, April 1997
Choice, June 1997
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Table of Contents
Baggage and purposesp. 1
Interpreting unionismp. 21
Cultural unionismp. 72
Liberal unionismp. 127
Civic unionismp. 169
Afterwordp. 214
Notesp. 218
Bibliographyp. 233
Indexp. 243
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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