Conor: A Biography of Conor Cruise O'brien

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Conor: A Biography of Conor Cruise O'brien

By Donald Harman Akenson
McGill-Queens University Press, 1994
573 pp. $34.95
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An authorized but quite independent biography of an Irish phenomenon, written by a Canadian historian of things Irish. O'Brien's life encompassed Irish politics, a major stint at the United Nations under the much-respected secretary general, Dag Hammarskjöld, an academic career in New York (a sojourn in the 1960s among its intellectuals and the anti-Vietnam stance that he embraced), and a return to Irish politics and his fight against Irish Republican Army terrorism. Finally, O'Brien, the writer, recently completed a biography of a fellow Irishman, Edmund Burke. A life-and-times biography, candid and admiringly critical, an entertaining appraisal of a boisterously controversial figure.