The controversial autobiography of the man at the heart of Irish Republican politics. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams offers his own unique, intimate account of the early years of his career, from his childhood in working-class Belfast to the more turbulent years of social activism that followed. An engaging and revealing self-portrait.> Born in West Belfast in 1948 into a family with close ties to both the trade union and republican movements, his childhood, despite its material poverty, he has described in glowing and humorous terms. For many years his voice was banned from radio and television by both the British and Irish governments, while commentators and politicians condemned him and all he stood for. But through those years Brandon published a succession of books which made an important contribution to an understanding of the true circumstances of life and politics in the north of Ireland. In his autobiography, Before the Dawn, Gerry Adams brings a unique perspective to the years of conflict, insurrection and bitter struggle which ensued when peaceful political agitation was met with hysterical reaction and the sectarian tinderbox of Britain's last colony erupted. From the pogroms of 1969 to the hunger strikes of 1981, from the streets of West Belfast to the cages of Long Kesh, his powerful memoir is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand modern Ireland.