Smashing H Block: The Popular Campaign against Criminalization and the Irish Hunger Strikes 1976-1982

Smashing H Block: The Popular Campaign against Criminalization and the Irish Hunger Strikes 1976-1982

by F. Stuart Ross

Paperback(New Edition)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


The period from 1976 to 1982 is widely regarded as a crucial turning point in the Irish Troubles. As time has passed the historic prison hunger strikes of 1980 and 1981 have taken on near mythic resonance, somewhat distorting the broader picture of the Irish republican struggle against criminalization. Focusing on the popular movement outside the prisons, Smashing H-Block gives us a gripping, thorough account of this fateful time and reveals how these years of protest reshaped and revitalized modern Irish republicanism.

Drawing on extensive archival research and the widest range of sources available, F. Stuart Ross paints a compelling portrait of the last great wave of activism and mobilization with the nationalist population. He argues that the protests outside of the infamous H-Blocks of Maze Prison challenged republican orthodoxy, while, more broadly, he examines the importance of popular grassroots movements in effecting political and social change. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781846317101
Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Publication date: 02/15/2012
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 226
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

F. Stuart Ross is a Derry-based activist and academic. He received his PhD from Queens University Belfast and has also studied at Syracuse University and the London School of Economics.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

List of Abbreviations xi

Introduction: Everyone Has a Part to Play 1

1 Prison Protests and Broad Fronts (1972-1975) 9

2 Lean Days and Uphill Battles (1976-1977) 20

3 Steps in the Right Direction (1978-1979) 42

4 Building the Campaign (1980) 74

5 Hunger Strike (October-December 1980) 92

6 Bobby Sands MP (January-April 1981) 109

7 Ten Men Dead (May-October 1981) 128

8 A Quiet and Uneventful End (October 1981-October 1982) 157

Conclusion: Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things 174

Bibliography 192

Index 210

Customer Reviews