Smashing H Block
The Popular Campaign against Criminalization and the Irish Hunger Strikes 1976-1982
Distributed for Liverpool University Press
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.