The Luck of the Irish

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Jan. 22 1998 3:30 AM

The Luck of the Irish

In the movies, IRA terrorists become dashing heroes.

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Finally, the simplistic view of politics that animates the IRA fits neatly with the conventional narrative structures that Hollywood adores. Real politics is messy and morally ambiguous and doesn't make for a compelling thriller. But the black-and-white world of the true believer does, especially when it's festooned with the trappings of Irish romanticism. The IRA, you might say, already lives in a Hollywood movie, with its noble heroes, amoral enemies, and glorious deaths. It's no surprise that moviemakers figured that out.

James Surowiecki writes "The Motley Fool," Slate's weekly business column.

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