The World Turned Upside Down

The World Turned Upside Down

Hugh Gough

Ideas certainly played an important role in the intellectual and political ferment that was the French Revolution, but it may be going too far to attempt to separate those ideas into distinct, contending political philosophies to which the main revolutionary figures can be attached.

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The Last Chapter

The Last Chapter

Enda O’Doherty

Books and bookselling have been with us for a couple of thousand years, in which time they have progressed out of the libraries and into bookshops and homes, away from institutions and towards individuals. A great success story, but nearly all stories have an ending.

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Less Thought, More Action

Less Thought, More Action

Antony Tatlow

The German theatre company Schaubühne has toured its surtitled version of Hamlet in a translation which would more be accurately described as a transformation. The interpretation may be daring but the interweaving of meaning and “music” which makes Shakespeare’s language so memorable is lost.

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The Scruple of Detail

Michael Cronin

Shifted whole from one language to another, philosophical terms leave behind a rich history of usage, interpretation, and interaction with other terms. To understand them properly we must recover some of that past, working against the grain of  the monologic of the monoglot.

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The Civic Public Square

Fergus O’Ferrall

How should religious groups interact with the public sphere and attempt to influence policy? Or should they stay out of the political marketplace altogether? The liberal Catholicism of Daniel O’Connell, which emphasised that a right or freedom is a right or freedom for everyone, may provide a model.

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Imagining the Irish

David Blake Knox

Good-humoured, charming, hospitable and gregarious, yet drawn to tragedy. Are the Irish subject to some kind of collective manic depression ‑ lurching wildly from exuberant craic to existential despair? Or is this just the kind of moonshine we like to feed our customers?

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Education for Democracy

Jonathan Creasy

Founded in 1933 in western North Carolina, Black Mountain College sought to promote the educational and democratic principles of John Dewey. It had enormous success in attracting major figures to teach but still had some difficulty in implementing racial integration.

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In the Rubber Kingdom

Andrew Lees

In 1908,1,675 vessels docked in the harbour of Manaus on the Amazon, the steamships stashed with a cornucopia of extravagances including Huntley and Palmer’s biscuits, tinned Danish butter, White Label whisky, Maples cedarwood tables and Victor gramophones.

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A Voice Seldom Heard

John Bradley

There are two ways of responding to perceived injustice: you can complain, or you can get out. If you are loyal to the organisation you will not get out; your choice then is between speaking out and remaining silent. Micheál Mac Gréil chose to stay in and speak out.

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Saved by Rock ’n’ Roll

Desmond Traynor

In the 1950s, when Susan Sontag was a young woman, high culture, middlebrow culture and pop culture existed in hermetically sealed spheres. In her writings on pop and as a pioneer of film studies in the English language cultural sphere, she was decisively to change all that.

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The Long Slide

Magda Kay

Philip Larkin’s restless spirit could not commit to any one course: he wrote serious poems and comical ones, had serious friends and comical ones, a religious and ‘proper’ lover and a sceptical, flamboyant one; he coveted fame and luxury - bathing and booze and birds - yet was known as a hermit.

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The Talking Cure

Seamus O’Mahony

Sigmund Freud did not care greatly for his patients, and learning and teaching were more to his taste than helping and healing. Nevertheless, psychoanalysis has become in our age the pervasive orthodoxy of self-knowledge, even if its scientific claims are on a par with those of, say, aromatherapy.

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Hidden Irelands

Lia Mills

Celia de Fréine seems to have arrived on the literary scene late but fully formed: as though she waited until her voice was mature to publish at all. Since she started, she’s been unstoppable. In an interview, she talks about the gestation of her work and her return to earlier ‘shelved’ work.

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Behind the Erin Curtain

Bryan Fanning

If our economic insufficiencies in the 1950s were obvious, and our attempts to address them obviously inadequate, this might not be because history, or our inescapable national character, were stacked against us. The fault, an unlikely clerical source argued, might not be in our stars but in ourselves.

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Worlds in Words

Sean Sheehan

Scholarly research into ‘dead’ languages evolved over many centuries into an intellectual discipline which was to become the backbone of universities' humanities departments. The history of this progress is the subject of an impressive and hugely industrious new work.

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Deeper than God

Manus Charleton

Dworkin argues that, as well as religious theists, there are many others who because they believe the universe is inherently ordered while at the same time reaching beyond our comprehension, should also be regarded as religious. He calls them religious atheists. Among scientists, Einstein is the most famous religious atheist. 

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A Serious Business

Brian Davey

Edward St Aubyn has undoubted comic gifts, as he has proven in his previous work, but his satire on the Booker Prize judging process tacks a little too closely to burlesque. Perhaps he was having so much fun he ‘let himself go’. But satire, when it is successful, is a serious business.

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Mister Perfect

Michael Hinds

The frequently quoted descriptions of Michael Donaghy as a modern metaphysical may make prospective readers nervous; yet in the main there is nothing ostentatiously intellectual about his work. Rather, the abiding impression is that a poem is a minor fuss worth making.

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The Big Show

Pádraig Yeates

A new book on 1914-18 is lavishly illustrated and, without doubt, a rollicking good read. This is military history as entertainment on a scale that we have not seen since, well, since the First World War.

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Becoming a Conservative ... and After

Frank Freeman

Political journeys are not always one-directional. For some people neither the right nor the liberal left is an entirely satisfying place and it becomes necessary, if one is motivated by a desire for the common good, to endorse values from one and the other.

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Irish Art Series

Catherine Marshall and Rachel Moss

The Royal Irish Academy’s five-volume history of art is a hugely ambitious project which has been five years in the making and involves two hundred and fifty contributors. Here two of its editors explain its range and place in the development of Irish art history.

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The Dead Assemble

Nathan Hugh O’Donnell

The title piece in Brendan Cleary’s new collection is an elegy on the death of his brother. Overall, his poetry conveys an experience of real privation, of alcoholism and loneliness, which speaks to a wider and more long-standing reality about which we in Ireland perhaps don’t want to hear.

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Budget Ritual and Reality

John Bradley

The question we will face in the coming years is whether we can trust governments in Ireland to take wise budgetary decisions that are in the wider, long-term interests of citizens rather than in the narrow, short-term interests of politicians, lobby groups and powerful banks

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The Coast of Bohemia

Maurice Earls

One result of living behind the wall of large states that stands between us and central Europe is the tendency to see our history as somewhat unusual. Irish history is certainly very different from British, Dutch, French and Spanish imperial history but much less so if one looks a little beyond.

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The Lightning and the Thunder

Philip Coleman

A study marked by brilliant analyses of some remarkable works of poetry and fiction written by US authors in the first half of the twentieth century allows us to hear inflections of voice that owe much to an enchantment with Ireland – that ‘Celtic parcel of irresistible allure’.

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Norsemen, Normans, Wicklowmen

David Dickson

The latest volume of studies from the Friends of Medieval Dublin benefits greatly from the efforts of many young scholars, more adept at moving across disciplinary boundaries and methodologies than were some of the heroes of the first generation who fought for Wood Quay.

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The Utility of Inquiry

Nicholas Canny

Many of the challenges put forward to ‘pure’ research in the humanities have been mounted before – by Jeremy Bentham and his followers – in the nineteenth century. They were also quite eloquently answered, by the likes of Arnold, Ruskin, Newman and John Stuart Mill.

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No poppy, please

Pádraig Yeates

If it is true, as many people in Ireland now seem to believe, that First World War combatants were unjustly forgotten, Ireland may not have been the only place where that happened. But perhaps the war was forgotten because people deeply and desperately wanted to forget it.

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Friends and Elegies

Florence Impens

Michael Longley’s new collection invites us to consider and accept the presence of death within life, and their interconnectedness, which modern society often tends to forget. It is, however, far from being a dark volume.

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New Poems

Gerald Dawe

These four new poems by Gerald Dawe are from Mickey Finn’s Air, to be published later this year by Gallery Press

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Living through Extermination

James Wickham

The concentration camps were extermination camps: when prisoners were not immediately murdered, they were subjected to a regime few could long survive. Yet this is not so unprecedented in human history. Eighteenth century slaves were not only routinely subjected to the most sadistic punishments but also worked to death.

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Turn Down That Racket

Sean L’Estrange

Mike Goldsmith's engaging grand tour of the world of noise takes us from the (silent) "Big Bang" and the general quiet of pre-historic times to contemporary problems of noise pollution. An enjoyable read, full of insight and wit, it is a model of what popular science writing should do.

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Guinness Has Been Good - For You

When told that the Guinnesses had been good for Dubliners Brendan Behan responded that Dubliners had been good for the Guinnesses.. A good quip, but not entirely fair, as the historical record indicates.

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The Silent Intellectuals

John Carey thought that Oxford academics were a privileged bunch who had a nerve telling other people what to think. Irish professors are not so rarefied a breed. Perhaps more of them should occasionally peek out and contribute to public debate.

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Heading towards Nation

The names of the metro stops in Paris have a certain poetry, Richard Cobb thought, while its reassuring efficiency conveys a sense of security, a sense that one will certainly, at the end of the night, get home to bed.

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Bob Purdie: 1940-2014

A tribute to the life and work of Bob Purdie, left-wing writer, activist and analyst, a Scottish trade unionist who identified with militant Irish republicanism, then changed his mind, and ended up campaigning for Scottish independence.

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Owning Up

Made a mistake? A really bad one? The best thing to do is to own up. In full..

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Crustaceans on D'Olier Street

One of Dublin's main North-South thoroughfares once boasted a fine dining venue which attracted poets and writers, when they had a few bob.

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Expelled from the Word Hoard

Is it good news or bad news when 'selfie' is added to the dictionary? And what if 'sepia' is chucked out to make room for it?

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A Dublin Commemoration

Thomas Moore has fallen out of favour. Even his statue seems to have disappeared. His flame still burned brightly however on the occasion of his centenary in 1879, when a concert in his honour almost led to a riot.

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Frances Burney, Facebook Friends: 0

Having no intimates, and no one to whom she could confide her feelings, Frances Burney addressed them confidently to Nobody.

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Bascombe Is Back

Richard Ford's Frank Bascombe is back in a new novel, Let Me Be Frank with You. The only thing John Banville doesn't like is the title.

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Dublin At Your Feet

A number of pavement lights on the streets of south central Dublin bear the name Hayward Brothers. They were produced by the same family which also gave us a noted Irish actor, singer and travel writer.

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Tread Softly

Is Thomas Davis on the way to becoming a forgotten hero, yet another of those monumental figures from the past which say to us 'who is it now, who exactly was he?'

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In Proud And Glorious Memory

It has been suggested that many participants in the First World War sleepwalked into a conflict whose future dimensions they could not at the time imagine. But Italy walked into it wide awake ... having first devoted some thought to who was likely to win.

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GBS: An Old Man's Dreams

Whatever we have done, or whatever we have failed to do, may pursue us through restless nights for many decades after our conscious minds have forgotten it all.

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This Won't Hurt

In among the dross, occasional nuggets of gold can be found at the bottoms of the pages of many academic works, the historian of learning Anthony Grafton suggests.

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Byron in Venice

The great romantic poet found the Adriatic city to be a place where he could indulge both his spiritual and intellectual longings and his more carnal ones.

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Statue-breaking

When an empire ends and a country becomes independent the imperial soldiers leave - but the visible heritage they have left behind is sometimes found to be disturbing or unacceptable.

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New Books

Ireland 1912 - 1922


An original study of the profound French influence in Ireland leading up to the Easter Rising.

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Irish Literature

Featuring Irish poetry from Augustus Young, a new novel from Joseph O’Neill and a new collection of Irish short stories with an introduction from Frank McGuinness.

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World Literature

Featuring a study of the literary friendships of major writers, as well as fiction from award-winning international authors, including David Mitchell, Jane Smiley and Marilynne Robinson.

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Irish History & Politics

A collection of recent discoveries related to medieval Dublin, as well as a history of the Protestant community in Ireland.

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World History & Politics

Frank Ninkovich’s controversial new take on the United States as a global power.

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Irish Culture, Philosophy & Science


Mary Black’s autobiography “Down the Crooked Road”.

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World Culture, Philosophy & Science

An historical introduction to Islam, Naomi Klein on the climate crisis and transformational political change, as well as John Lydon’s autobiography.


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More New Books ...