Terence O'Neill was the most controversial of all Ulster Unionist leaders. For many his reforming and moderate premiership was Northern Ireland's last, best hope before the catastrophe of the Troubles. Nationalists accuse him of doing too little to placate catholic demands for civil rights. Unionists charge that he disastrously divided protestant ranks by going too far too fast.Northern Ireland at the Crossroads for the first time lays bare O'Neill's bold ambition - to end partition's exclusive reliance on protestant support by winning catholics to the banner of a reformed Unionist Party. It chronicles the violent political power struggles that beset his stormy premiership. New light is shed on the politics of catholic and protestant communities, the rise of Paisley, discrimination against catholics and the development of the civil rights movement. The slide into virtual civil war is firmly rooted in that memorable and hopeful decade of the Sixties.

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