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

    A Fetish for Failure

    Eva Kenny
    A Fetish for Failure
    A few years ago the injunction to ‘Fail again. Fail better’ emerged as a mantra for the Silicon Valley types, ‘upfailing’ being, in inspirationalist thinking, just a stage of growth and self-enrichment. One shouldn’t need to say that this is all very remote from Samuel Beckett’s philosophy.
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    The Tigress in Winter

    Rory Montgomery
    The Tigress in Winter
    After eleven years as prime minister, Margaret Thatcher was forced to resign in 1990. She lived another 22 years, while ‘Thatcherism’ lived on as a political memory for longer. Perhaps Labour’s huge losses to the Tories in the Midlands and North in last month’s election suggest that she is now in the process of being forgotten.
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    Standing Up for Justice

    Patricia Craig
    Mary Ann McCracken, sister of the executed 1798 leader Henry Joy, was an advanced thinker, a dedicated philanthropist and a model of composure, dignity and firmness. Long surviving her brother, she could be seen on Belfast docks aged 88 handing out anti-slavery pamphlets.
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    A Lick of Red Paint

    Henry Patterson
    The most intellectually influential journal of the British Marxist left found itself, over half a century, unable to say anything about the conflict in Ireland. Embarrassed by the sectarianism of the Provo campaign, British leftists nevertheless remained fixated on ‘the anti-imperialist struggle’.
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    An Ordinary Evil

    Kevin Stevens
    ‘Game of Thrones’ is ubiquitous in our culture, yet two-thirds of millennial Americans do not know what Auschwitz is. A new study of Josef Mengele reminds us that we do not live in a world of sorcerers and dragons but one in which ordinary people are capable of unimaginable evil.
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    Paper-thin Walls

    Andy Storey
    The late Peter Sutherland was ‘among the most influential powerbrokers of the last thirty years or so’. Unfortunately, his biographer’s inability to seriously grapple with his exercise of that power causes the reader to veer between exasperation and, too often, frustrated laughter.
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    The caricature or the man?

    Marilyn Piety
    Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard’s reputation suffered after attacks on him in a contemporary satirical journal, and his response to those attacks. But were the attacks fair or accurate in the first instance? And have we now been left with the caricature rather than the man?
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    An Englishman’s Arthur

    Thomas Earls FitzGerald
    The writer of Arthurian fantasy TH White sat out the Second World War as a conscientious objector in Co Meath. This long sojourn doesn’t appear to have given him any great love of the Irish people, whom he seems to have blamed for spurning the benefits of British civilisation.
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    Digging Deep

    Amanda Bell
    Robert Macfarlane’s latest exploration of the natural world leaves one with the impression of the world as a hollowed-out vessel, infinitely fragile and perilously finite, a honeycomb packed with toxic waste which will ultimately disintegrate like an aged wasps’ nest.
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    On Quijotismo

    Leanne Ogasawara
    Cervantes’s ‘Don Quixote’ was about a man who steps out of the matrix. Tilting at windmills, on a quest for a princess, he appears crazy ‑ and he forces us to consider that maybe we are crazy. This is why over four centuries he has remained an indispensable hero.
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