'Let us turn our faces towards Asia', exhorted Lenin when the long-awaited revolution in Europe failed to materialize. 'The East will help us conquer the West.' Peter Hopkirk's book tells for the first time the story of the Bolshevik attempt to set the East ablaze with the heady new gospel of Marxism. Lenin's dream was to liberate the whole of Asia, but his starting point was British India. A shadowy undeclared war followed. Among the players in this new Great Game were British spies, Communist revolutionaries, Muslim visionaries and Chinese warlords - as well as a White Russian baron who roasted his Bolshevik captives alive. Here is an extraordinary tale of intrigue and treachery, barbarism and civil war, whose violent repercussions continue to be felt in Central Asia today.
The stories of the leading figures of the Irish revolution - Michael Collins, Eamon de Valera, and guerrillas like Tom Barry and Ernie O'Malley - have been well told. But many other senior-ranking activists were equally committed. However, their experience remains obscure to most people. What was it like to try to launch the Easter Rising in a provincial town outside Dublin? What happened to the Volunteers imprisoned after the rising in maximum security prisons? How did counties such as Cavan and Wexford experience the revolution? This look at the life of Peter Paul Galligan throws light on these issues. Peter Paul Galligan joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1910 and the Irish Volunteers in 1913. In 1916 he helped lead the Easter Rising in Enniscorthy. On the rebels' surrender he was imprisoned in the harshest of conditions in Dartmoor prison - forbidden to speak to other prisoners and reduced at times to a diet of bread and water. Galligan's story also shows the experience of the War of Independence on the ground in his native Cavan. Dublin Castle file refers to him as one of the most dangerous men in the Rebel Movement. As a member of Dil Eireann, Galligan voted for the Treaty but also voted two days later for Eamon de Valera as President. In the ensuing Civil War, he stayed neutral but was in contact with the Anti-Treaty commanders. This is a fascinating story of a little known but significant contributor to Irish history.
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