Books: Cats and Dogs

STATES OF IRELAND by CONOR CRUISE O'BRIEN 336 pages. Pantheon. $6.95.

Conor Cruise O'Brien continues to inform and dismay. He is an Irishman of Catholic ancestry and sympathies, whose family circle included agnostics, anticlericals and persons whom an old-fashioned liberal would call "emancipated." An exotic heritage, by Irish standards anyway, which perhaps accounts for his penchant for exposing outwardly altruistic policies that are, in his view, really selfish, cynical and exploitative.

O'Brien was an Irish delegate to the United Nations and served the U.N. in the Congo. His book To Katanga and Back and his play Murderous Angels were indictments of the role...

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