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Telling it like it is Momentum Mo Mowlam 320pp Hodder From all the pre-publicity during the past few weeks you might have thought that Mos book was largely about the inner workings and tensions of the 1997-2001 government revealed for the first time from within It touches on some of these thingsyes but overwhelmingly this book is an intelligent thoroughly readable account and analysis of the peace process in Northern Ireland Its central purpose and its achievement is to demystify the twists and turns of the route to peace After a brief and salutary history lesson it leads us through the tortuous process that secured the Good Friday Agreement and then through the even more difficult tasks of sustaining public support and of actually implementing it Mo of course is better placed than anyone to detail for us the frustrations the hopes and miseries the triumphs and the near-disasters that made up the progress towards agreement What emerges from this account is not only a vivid sense of the sheer exhausting difficulty of it all but an appreciation of the fact that it is small steps of give and take something for one side something for the other that are needed - coupled with an ability to get people to trust one another or at the very least to set aside their total distrust There are lessons here for everyone involved in conflict resolution around the world - needed now more than ever Towards the end of the book Mowlam sets out in seven pages a checklist of 10 ingredients for the successful development of any peace objective Some of it is obvious but there is much wisdom here about inclusivity about addressing past grievances and about taking risks for peace This should be required reading for Ariel Sharon Mowlam describes how she recognised early on that her first and most important task - the sine qua non of the exercise - was to bring
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