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

    History: Discipline or Instrument?

    Martin Maguire
    History: Discipline or Instrument?
    Was professional history, based on dispassionate sifting and analysis of evidence, replaced after the 1960s in response to the developing Troubles by a public history more interested in reception than in method, which saw historians take on the role of legitimising the Irish twenty-six-county state, and the border?
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    The French Connections

    Phyllis Gaffney
    Two new books of essays, one in English and one in French, and a study of Charles de Gaulle’s Irish antecedents reveal the many links, political, historical, cultural and artistic, between ourselves and our next-nearest neighbours.
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    Talking Heads

    Deirdre Serjeantson
    Talking Heads
    The Elizabethan English in Ireland tended to see Irish beheadings as savagery, while their own decapitations were an expression of due process. There is also a strong Irish literary tradition in play here. The severed head will not speak again, but literature has implied that it has plenty to tell us.
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    Response to Review

     The author  of Massacre in West Cork maintains that Gerard Murphy’s review contains many errors. The author, Barry Keane, also argues that the reviewer engages in crass speculation regarding his motives.
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    Generals and their Masters

    Ronan Fanning
    Generals and their Masters
    A guerrilla army wins if it does not lose, Kissinger observed, while a conventional army loses if it does not win. A new edited account of the British army’s campaign to suppress the War of Independence shows a force which felt its hands were tied by its political superiors.
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    Fishers of Men

    Joe Humphreys
    A brace of books on Catholic missionary activity in the early twentieth century in Nigeria show that politics, in the context of rivalry with Protestantism, often featured strongly, while pioneers and idealists where not always well treated by their superiors.
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    Murder on the Bandon River

    Gerard Murphy
    A new study of the Dunmanway, Cork massacre of Protestants in 1922 brings some fresh evidence to bear and tries to be fair-minded. It is also hard to quarrel with its main conclusion - that the killings were motivated mostly by revenge for the killing of an IRA leader rather than being specifically targeted at informers.
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    Commemorating what? And why?

    Padraig Yeates
    Commemorating what? And why?
    Our acts of remembrance in this decade of commemoration should perhaps include some consideration of the failures of the past as well as its successes, and indeed the failures of the present. And might this not be a good time to have done with militarism once and for all?
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    Guns and Chiffon

    Richard English
    Nationalist women in early twentieth century Ireland had a sometimes difficult relationship with the conservative mainstream. Yet while they were often quite bohemian they were alive to the need to build a constituency and, as it were, advance with a Lee-Enfield in one hand and a loaf of soda bread in the other.
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    The People’s Parties

    Brendan Sweeney
    If Sweden and Ireland are ever compared, it is almost always to the detriment of the latter and many on the left entertain the notion that we would be a lot better off if we could be more like the Nordics. Yet there are curious similarities between the dominant parties that have been in power for most of the modern history of both countries.
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