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

    Drama in the Catacombs

    Máirín Nic Eoin
    A study of Irish-language theatre in the mid-twentieth century shows that in spite of considerable difficulties associated with the sociological realities of language capacities in the country there was, in particular in the 1960s, a quite thriving Gaelic stage culture.

    Defending Freedom

    John Swift
    Contemporary critics of the human rights tradition argue either that it is a racket for the benefit of lawyers or that it is based on impractical idealism. But we should not forget what a dictatorship looks like; to fight for civilised decency is still important, and success is not impossible.

    The People’s Story

    Fergus O’Ferrall
    A comprehensive new volume of essays on Ireland’s social history since 1740 claims to offer a new interpretation of the country’s history. Certainly it contains much excellent and groundbreaking material, but it furnishes a starting point for interpretation rather than the finished article.

    The New Law of War

    Gerry Kearns
    The US military presents the Middle East as permanently unstable, ignoring its own continual interventions in the region and portraying it rather as an external place from which the United States is repeatedly threatened and to which it is periodically required to return.

    Behind the Facade

    Cathal Moore
    A posthumously published work by an eminent architect and architectural historian gives a valuable insight into the practices of building, the divisions of trades and the sourcing of materials in Ireland during the Georgian period.


    Declan O’Driscoll
    It’s not easy being in a Joanna Walsh story. Nothing is quite as it should be and however fervently you maintain hope, that vision you have of how life might approach perfection ‑ the image imagined ‑ never settles or sharpens into focus.

    Love Persists, Despite

    Nessa O’Mahony
    Two new collections deal with the many challenges that life throws at us, from illness and ageing to bereavement, fragility and, eventually, death. And in spite of all this, the poet is compelled, as Kavanagh wrote, to ‘record love’s mystery without claptrap’.

    Thinking ’bout the Things

    Afric McGlinchey
    The strongest impression in Eva HD’s new collection of poems is of her casual register (she often uses words like ‘dunno’ and ‘uh’) and her focus on what Heidegger refers to as the thingness of things.

    People of No Account

    David Langwallner
    Arundhati Roy’s new novel, her first for twenty years, has many passages of fine writing but overall is something of an aesthetic mess. The key to understanding it and the passionate political impulses that lie behind it are perhaps to be found in Roy’s political writing about her native India.

    Listening to the Women

    Adrian Paterson
    Listening to the Women
    Voices are central to the project of revolution, just as they are afterwards, and not only as a metaphor. If the 1916 rising was staged – and a surprisingly large number of participants in the event had a background in the theatre – no one could say that it went quite according to script.