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

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.
Nov 5, 2014, 18:40 PM

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.
Dec 1, 2014, 18:58 PM

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.
Dec 1, 2014, 20:09 PM

Partisan reviews

Bryan Fanning
From Pearse and Connolly, through AE, Sean O’Faolain, John Mulcahy and Vincent Browne, a number of specialist periodicals have set out to write against the grain of mainstream Irish society and provide a space for diversity of opinion not available in national newspapers or the provincial press.
Jan 4, 2015, 13:05 PM

Death by Respectability?

John Horgan
The discussion group Tuairim, active in Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s, made many thoughtful contributions to intellectual debate, but it is another matter to say it was influential, in a society in which those with political ideas but outside formal politics were largely ignored.
Feb 3, 2015, 11:21 AM

Bright Spirits

John Borgonovo
Roy Foster’s new book focuses on a group of brilliant Irish bohemians and intellectuals who were active from 1916 to 1923, though often marginalised thereafter. Their lives are fascinating, but one should be wary of overstating their centrality to ‘the revolutionary generation’.
Feb 3, 2015, 11:45 AM

Holding the Balance

Pat Rabbitte
The Progressive Democrats did not break the mould of Irish politics and should bear some of the responsibility for creating the conditions that led to the 2008 economic collapse. But we should perhaps still be grateful to them for standing between Charles Haughey and absolute power.
Feb 3, 2015, 12:08 PM

On Not Being Smart Enough

Clara Fischer
Philosophy remains one of the least diverse disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. While great strides have been made in other subject areas, certainly in the European and North American context, university philosophy still includes woefully few women.
Mar 8, 2015, 11:04 AM

A Bit of Help, Comrade?

John Mulqueen
Throughout the 1980s, two left-wing parties, the increasingly ambitious and successful SFWP, later WP, and the Communist Party of Ireland (CPI) competed for the favour and financial support of the Soviet bloc. But at the end of the decade it all came tumbling down.
Apr 6, 2015, 18:33 PM

The Old Order and the New

Eoin O’Malley
Fianna Fáil dominated the old three-party – or two-and-a half-party system - for so long due to political skill and its good fortune in usually being out of office when recession struck. But now the old system is changing in favour of a new one in which class and demographics count for more.
Jun 7, 2015, 09:27 AM

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Bryan Fanning
Studies of the erosion of Catholic religious practice among the Irish in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s found that many emigrants very quickly melted into the non-religious atmosphere of the host country as soon as they felt they were no longer under close observation.
Jul 12, 2015, 07:40 AM

Investigating the ‘Irish’ Family

In spite of changes, most Irish people’s sense of self, the way they see and understand themselves, is developed and maintained in terms of relations with parents and siblings. Linda Connolly introduces a new study of the subject she has edited.
Jul 12, 2015, 09:42 AM

Friends At War

John Mulqueen
The Irish Civil War has often been presented as a conflict in which ‘the men of no property’ challenged those with a stake in the country for dominance. But this analysis ignores the plentiful support there was for the Free State government among the very poorest classes.
Aug 30, 2015, 11:50 AM

Lost Connections

Maurice Earls
Most groups wrongfooted by the advent of Irish independence in the 1920s have since made their peace with it: the state’s Protestant minority, Trinity College, even diehard republicans. But the Jesuit order, it seems, is still dragging its feet and hankering after what has been lost.
Aug 30, 2015, 12:54 PM

Steadfast Comrade

Brian Kenny
A loyal Moscow communist Sean Murray set up the Communist Party of Ireland in the early 1930s. Years of meetings, discussions and disputes followed. Murray's life was devoted to the cause but did all that work amount to a hill of beans?
Aug 31, 2015, 11:33 AM

Irish Visionaries

Bryce Evans
A collection of essays on figures drawn from five centuries, from William Petty to Fintan O’Toole, who set themselves to think about Ireland is vigorous in its argument and confident in its provision of intellectual armour for future discussions about the state of the nation.
Oct 4, 2015, 09:34 AM

Tell It Like It Is

Andy Pollak
During the years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the media, and particularly BBC television, came under pressure to assist the state’s war against armed revolt rather than fulfilling its duty to be impartial and to inform. For the most part, it resisted that pressure
Oct 4, 2015, 10:49 AM

Cocking A Snook

John McCourt
‘The Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly’, which ran from 1905 to 1915, was Dublin’s leading satirical publication. While its sympathies were more with Sinn Féin, Home Rule campaigner John Redmond, in his triumphs and failure, was to feature extensively in its pages.
Oct 4, 2015, 11:58 AM

Hiss! Boo! Take it off!

Adrian Hardiman
The noisy censure of a dramatic performance must, in legal principle, be the expression of the feelings of the moment. If it is premeditated ‘by a number of persons confederated beforehand’ it becomes criminal. Such was the background to the ‘Playboy’ riots of 1907.
Nov 8, 2015, 12:39 PM

A Necessary Correction

Frank Callanan
Arthur Griffith is the most misunderstood major figure of twentieth century Irish history. Garret FitzGerald, one of the few to give his views much attention, still characterised him quite wrongly as a “narrow nationalist”. A new and original biography makes amends.
Dec 6, 2015, 13:00 PM