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Patriot Games Study Guide & Plot Summary

This Study Guide consists of approximately 73 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Patriot Games.
This section contains 797 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Patriot Games Study Guide

Patriot Games Summary & Study Guide Description

Patriot Games Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Related Titles and a Free Quiz on Patriot Games by Tom Clancy.

Plot Summary

Patriot Games by Tom Clancy, written in 1987, is a book that covers the issues of terrorism, specifically the "Irish" issue in terms of their wish for independence from England and the lengths to which some of the people are willing to go in order to achieve their goal. Jack Ryan is an Irish-American who teaches Naval History at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He, his wife, Cathy, and four-year-old daughter Sally are in London for a working vacation in The Mall just outside of Buckingham Palace when a terrorist attack sets off a grenade underneath a vehicle and gunmen shoot the driver and front seat passenger. Ryan, a former Marine, reacts without much thought. He knocks down one of the attackers and shoots the other. The people in the back of the car turn out to the Prince and Princess of Wales and their infant son. Ryan has just successfully thwarted a kidnapping attempt on the part of the ULA, the Ulster Liberation Army, and a smaller and much more vicious group than the PIRA, Provisional Irish Republican Army. By foiling the terrorist attack, Jack has created a new target for the terrorists, who have never before acted on American soil. However, once the Ryans are back in Maryland, Sean Miller, the terrorist who was tried for the attack in England and later escaped seeks his revenge against Jack Ryan and his family. Cathy and Sally are attacked on the freeway and end up in the hospital. Jack's attacker is apprehended before he is able to hurt Ryan.

The CIA has long been after Jack to rejoin their ranks on a permanent basis. At first Jack was simply interested in gathering information about the ULA and was willing to give a couple of weeks to an analysis of the information the CIA has available. After the attack on his family, Jack determines that the only way to protect his family is to protect all Americans from terrorists. The only way to do this is to find where the terrorists are, where they train, where they get their backing and funding, and this is what Jack's job becomes for the CIA. He is a top-notch analyst, and his abilities are a great boon to the CIA. They make a little progress, but the ULA is clever in the way they drop out of sight for months at a time. Working with the FBI both in America and in Britain, and with Scotland Yard in Britain, the CIA is putting together a huge file on the ULA and exactly what they want. While the PIRA is a paramilitary group looking to end British domination over Northern Ireland, through force if necessary, but the ULA is even more frightening. They are a Marxist based organization who wishes to rule all of Ireland by their rules, and those who do not agree with their rules will be executed. They are a ruthless group, completely without compassion. By acting like a PIRA sub-group, the ULA is taking the world by surprise. Their intention is to have the PIRA blamed for the Ryan family attacks, and have the PIRA no longer welcomed in America by the loyal Irish-Americans who wish to support the land of their forefathers.

What the ULA did not consider is just how much of an effect it would have to attack a pregnant woman and a young child. They did get the effect they wanted in that the head of the PIRA was asked to return to Ireland. However, all the law enforcement agencies in both America and Britain are aware that it is the ULA they seek, and Jack Ryan's hardened resolve to join the CIA permanently in order to find them and destroy them has created a much more difficult environment for them to operate. They plan one more American operation, this time to kidnap the Prince and Princess of Wales on their American visit. For Sean Miller, the operation is even sweeter, because the Royal Couple plan to visit the Ryans at their home. Life has almost returned to normal for the Ryans, but Jack is still very dissatisfied that they have not been able to track down the ULA. Each time they get close, the ULA is one step ahead of them. A final showdown at the Ryan home leads to a midnight boat ride through rough seas to Annapolis Naval Academy. With every law enforcement agency available, the terrorists are finally apprehended when they approach the Cavasos. Jack Ryan hates Sean Miller. When Jack sees the terrorist face to face once again, he believes that he will kill Miller, but Jack's belief in civilized man wins out. Jack will never stoop to the level of the men who have chased him across the Atlantic.

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This section contains 797 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Patriot Games Study Guide
Patriot Games from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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