Rousing the Reader

    Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
    It is language itself ‑ its multiplicity, its straining after meaning, the assumptions buried within it ‑ that are illuminated by Paul Muldoon’s work, with the best poems, in his words, giving the alert reader the answers ‘to questions that only they have raised’.
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    The Persuaders

    John Fanning
    There seems to be a dearth of evidence that political ad campaigns actually work. Nevertheless, politicians are always open to the advice of advertising professionals on how to simplify their message and get it across to the public in a way they will find palatable.
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    James McFadden

    James McFadden grew up in Donegal, the son of a travelling salesman. He himself operated a touring picture show and then a cinema in the town of Falcarragh, while also learning the trade of a tailor. But the business, eventually, failed to prosper and the family moved to Coventry to seek work.
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    Married to the Mob

    David McKechnie
    Married to the Mob
    The moral compass of much of traditional journalism can look quaint when the outraged vigilante democracy of Twitter is unleashed. As Jon Ronson’s new book makes clear, these vicious contemporary bullyings and shamings are not driven by ‘them’ but by ‘us’.
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    Why Kill Charlie?

    Max McGuinness
    Why Kill Charlie?
    Stéphane Charbonnier (‘Charb’), the murdered editor of ‘Charlie Hebdo’, was a distinctly old-fashioned leftist – of the kind which has no hang-ups about hurting people’s feelings. For him, ridicule was a quasi-religious cause, one for which he was prepared to sacrifice himself.
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    Feeling the Squeeze

    Roy Foster
    Feeling the Squeeze
    A new study of the decline of the Protestant community in independent Ireland deals principally not with the Big Houses or the commercial bourgeoisie but with the ‘little people’ and their response to the violence and threats of violence they faced during the Troubles.
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    Well, Kerrang!!!

    Peter Sirr
    Michael Hofmann is a poet, essayist and translator. The latter activity, he has said, he undertakes partially to compensate for the slimness of his poetic work but he also has strong views, in particular noisily rejecting the idea that translation should be transparent or impersonal.
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    Goodbye Schweinhund, Hallo Nachbar?

    Seán OHuiginn
    A number of recently published books give hope that the ‘fog of war’ which has blanketed the modern British view of Germany is beginning to lift, allowing a view of the nation in the perspective of its entire history and not just the disastrous twelve-year episode of the Third Reich.
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    He Had to Do Something

    George O’Brien
    Sean O’Faoláin was not exactly a man of the people but a man who had ideas of the people. He was a Catholic, but he’d be damned if he was an Irish Catholic, and his taste veered towards the haute bourgeois, which was not the kind of thing you would shop locally for.
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    Not all Beef and Ale

    John McCourt
    Anthony Trollope has the reputation of being a conventional and comfortable writer, valued by various Tory prime ministers as a purveyor of enjoyable light political intrigue but in his Irish novels he emerges as a somewhat more complex and double-sided figure.
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