A momentous chronicle, timely and vital, which highlights that the burden of change rests, as always, upon the shoulders of those who suffered and yet, have nurtured the desire that lessons be learned.
Bloody Sunday was a pivotal moment in Irish history. Julieann Campbell places it perfectly in its time and place. The dominant notes are of anger and grief, and admiration for the indomitable spirit of the families and other campaigners who strove against daunting odds to vindicate the memory of the murdered.
Heartbreaking, poignant, powerful.
Powerful and moving ... The strength of this important new book lies in the artistry the author brings to the tasks of portraying both the community upon which the massacre was perpetrated, and the individuals within it... Campbell takes the voices of marchers, leaders, family members, doctors, priests and others and works her material like a woman knitting an Aran jumper, using a complicated pattern to create something that looks in the end simply beautiful. The book is animated by nothing less than love. The people of Derry are Campbells's people. She is from one of the Bloody Sunday families - her uncle, Jackie Duddy, was the first of the 12 people who were murdered that day. He was just 17.
So many people - judges, politicians, generals, journalists - have had their say on Bloody Sunday. his book allows the voices of the people of Derry to be heard. Their accounts are exciting, tragic, infuriating, but, above all, authentic. The fear, anger and grief leap off the pages.
The technique used - multiple voices speaking directly to us - is very simple but it has a profound effect. It puts us into the middle of the chaos of Bloody Sunday and keeps us there throughout the grief and anger that follow. A wonderful, wonderful book.
This was a day like no other in my lifetime ... a day that affected the lives of countless thousands on this Island.
Through multiple voices, Campbell puts us in the thick of history and humanity in this chronicle that throbs with grief, anger and frustration. It also frames the legacy of that tragic day in the context of the greater historical picture, how the people of Derry's efforts to get justice lay down a benchmark for similar campaigns across the world to this day.
Raw, meticulous and deeply personal, On Bloody Sunday is a remarkable act of public memory. The book gathers hundreds of different voices in testimony and reflection, retelling the unresolved story of the massacre of unarmed civilians in 1972. In doing so, it expands the possibilities of oral history as a resource for truth and justice.