Sectarian murder, torture, bloody power struggles and racketeering are what for many define their image of the Ulster Defence Association. Yet as Northern Ireland's Troubles worsened in 1971 and 1972, it emerged with a mass membership to defend Loyalist areas against the IRA and to uphold the Union with Britain. By 1974 it was able to defy the will of an elected government and it went on to formulate political strategies for working-class Loyalism. Ian S. Wood uses his specialist knowledge as well as extensive interviews to recount these events and the ruthless war waged by the UDA on the nationalist community. He explores issues such as the UDA's descent into criminality and its relationship with the 'secret war' conducted by Britain's undercover services and he assesses what impact the organisation had on the outcome of Europe's worst political and ethnic conflict between 1945 and the break-up of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia after 1990.
Ian S. Wood has previously been a lecturer in History at Napier University, Edinburgh and also taught part-time for the Open University. For many years he has been a regular contributor to the press on the conflict in Northern Ireland. His most recent book was Britain, Ireland and the Second World War (Edinburgh University Press, 2010). He is the author of Crimes of Loyalty: A History of the UDA (Edinburgh University Press, 2006) and of two studies of Winston Churchill and a biography of the Scottish Socialist John Wheatley. He has also authored Ireland During the Second World War (2002) and God, Guns and Ulster (2003).
Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1 Joining Up: The Origins of the UDA; 2 Victory: The UDA and the 1974 Ulster Workers' Council Strike; 3 After the Strike: Political Initiatives and Political Defeats; 4 The Campaign Against the Anglo-Irish Agreement and "Common Sense"; 5 The UDA at War; 6 Fighting On; 7 Simply the Best: The Rise of Johnny Adair and C Company; 8 Ceasefire and an Uncertain Peace; 9 Signing up to Peace? The UDA's Road to the Good Friday Agreement; 10 War within Loyalism; 11 Endgame for Johnny Adair; 12 A 'Post-War' UDA and the Issue of Collusion; 13 Hands Across the Sea: the UDA in Scotland; Postscript; APPENDIX A: Brief Biographies; APPENDIX B: A Chronology of the Troubles; APPENDIX C: Organisations and Initials; APPENDIX D: Responsibility for Deaths; Index.