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

    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    Mishearing Voices

    Fritz Senn
    Artists are free to take liberties and twist facts in presenting a fictional account of the lives of actual people, but the dialogue in a novel based on James, Nora, Lucia and Giorgio Joyce does not sound very much like any conversations we might have expected them to have.
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    Look, It’s Simple

    Brian Trench
    At an early stage of a new popularising book on quantum physics a crucial paradox is introduced: that ‘the more we discover, the more we understand that what we don’t know is greater than what we know’.
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    The Note for Grief

    Liza Costello
    Each year Dermot Healy built a stone wall on the beach near his home, only for it to be washed away by the sea. Loss, his poems seem to say, is an intrinsic aspect of our world, and inseparable from its material reality.
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