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Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

    Language in Orbit

    Catherine Phil MacCarthy
    The governing thread in a new selected Muldoon is a life lived from his upbringing in the village of Moy on the Tyrone-Armagh border to Princeton. The work engages concerns both private and public, while Muldoon’s poems address an increasingly wide audience. 

    A Canine Resurrection

    David Blake Knox
    The ancient Irish Wolfhound was chosen as an emblem for the Abbey Theatre and a mascot for the Irish Volunteers. But in fact the dog we know as the Wolfhound is far from ancient and far from ‘pure’. And perhaps, as such, it is not an unsuitable symbol for the Irish ‘race’.

    Time to Listen

    Liam Hennessy
    Mental function is immensely complicated and our understanding of it still in its relative infancy; in Ireland our first psychiatric institutions date back only to the early eighteenth century. Could it be that it is the human brain or mind, and not space, that is the final frontier?

    Changing Direction

    Frank Barry
    Economic stagnation in the Ireland of the 1950s persuaded many that a different economic course must be tried out. The name of TK Whitaker is intimately associated with the new departure, but the changes that occurred did not exactly match the recipe he initially offered.

    Real Americans

    Daniel Geary
    Liberals in the US have been told they must understand the grievances of Trump voters. Yet it is difficult to conclude that many of them are anything other than the political enemies of social solidarity, who believe that only ‘winners’ deserve the basic necessities of a good life.

    Misery and Improvement

    John Swift
    The European Enlightenment made its mark in Ireland as well as elsewhere. In the middle decades of the eighteenth century there was optimism about improvement and progress, while at the same time poor harvests, famine and disease took off between 13 and 20 per cent of the population.

    A Life with Opinions

    Andrew Carpenter
    Should a book which contains passages clearly the product of imaginative re-creation be marketed as a biography? Jonathan Swift’s contradictions encourage many different kinds of response, but a work written in a highly imaginative style should perhaps be described as commentary.

    Cracks in the Mould

    Thomas O’Neill
    Ireland’s 2011 general election saw big changes, with the collapse of Fianna Fáil in particular. In 2016 we saw Fine Gael and Labour weaken, a partial recovery for Fianna Fáil and progress for Sinn Féin and the far left. It may be, however, that the prospects for continuing dramatic change are not strong.

    The Evil That Men Do

    Frank Armstrong
    Dostoyevsky’s idea of collective responsibility for human error is as important now as it ever was, while his message of compassion for all life on Earth remains a challenge. He was also a visionary, who intuited the terrible cruelties that would soon reign ascendant in his country.

    A Centenary Poem

    Harry Clifton
    In 1917, the French diplomat and poet Alexis Leger, who published under the name Saint-John Perse, wrote the long poem ‘Anabasis’, a meditation on the rise and fall of civilisations, after a visit to an old temple in the Xinchan mountains.