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

    Let’s Shop

    Caoilfhionn Ní Bheacháin
    ‘Consumer culture’ may not be as new as we think it is. Consider the ordinary Venetian oar-maker who left his widow forty-three shirts, twenty-five sheets, sixty-three tablecloths and napkins and 105 pewter plates in 1633.  And what does Harrods’ offering of a hundred models of briar pipe tell us about the consumption patterns of London gentlemen in the 1890s?
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    No Easy Answers

    Sean Sheehan
    Wittgenstein’s talks in Cambridge in the 1930s were creative acts, works of art one might say, that came into existence in the process of their delivery. There were no notes, no script, but ‘he thought before the class. The impression was of a tremendous concentration.’
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    The Hive Mind

    John Fanning
    Charged with reviving the ‘New Republic’, Franklin Foer hired good writers. Quality improved but sales didn’t. ‘Data specialists’ were hired, who insisted that the editor should focus on ‘snackable content’. He complied, but then resigned and wrote a very interesting book as revenge.
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    Saving the Mind from Big Tech

    Stephen Phillips
    There was a time when it seemed that people didn’t mind what they shoved in their mouths as long as it was cheap. Then came ‘artisan food’, for which a minority would pay a premium. Might a willingness to pay for ‘artisan’ thought and analysis yet save what we used to call the quality press?
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    The Book’s The Thing

    Toby Barnard
    A new study of reading in the eighteenth century returns books to the settings in which they were enjoyed, stressing how they were valued as aids to refinement and self-improvement and how frequently they were encountered through being read aloud for the benefit of a group.
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    Picking Up The Pieces

    Joe Breen
    Bruce Springsteen’s memoir pulses with intensity and insight born of hours on the psychiatrist’s couch, covering his blue-collar Catholic background, the gruelling tour schedules and recording sessions, the initial paltry returns, then the king’s ransom when luck and labour chime.
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    A Study of Scarlet

    Catherine Marshall
    Michel Pastoureau’s account of the history of the colour red is in many respects fascinating. But what worked well for his previous studies of black, blue and green comes up a little short for red, a colour which is oceanic and in whose multiplicity of meanings one might well drown.
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    Time After Time

    Tom Cleary
    It has been estimated that the population of Ireland may reach 10 million by 2050; a sizeable proportion of that number will not be ‘native Irish’. Hungary, resistant to immigration, now has 10 million inhabitants, the same as eighty years ago, and this will very probably fall.
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    Understanding the Alt-Right

    Oisín O’Neill Fagan
    Online culture is a strangely proportioned new world, and it needs a map. Into this space comes Angela Nagle’s persuasive essay ‘Kill All Normies’, which charts the frenetic online culture wars of the last decade, marking and delineating their evolving political mutations.
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    Tales of Wonder

    Éilís Ní Dhuibhne
    Tales of Wonder
    What we call fairytales rarely feature fairies, but they recount, in a rich code of metaphors and symbols, the journey of human beings from childhood to adulthood. They are simple and profound, in structure elementary and unfussy, in ideas basic and universal, in style beautiful and attractive.
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