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

    Misery and Improvement

    John Swift
    The European Enlightenment made its mark in Ireland as well as elsewhere. In the middle decades of the eighteenth century there was optimism about improvement and progress, while at the same time poor harvests, famine and disease took off between 13 and 20 per cent of the population.
    More

    The Backward Look

    Pádraig Murphy
    The Backward Look
    The Russians, according to Svetlana Alexievich, are a people of misfortune and suffering whose best moments have come with war. Following the failed experiment to drive an entire nation ‘with an iron hand to happiness’, the people no longer have the culture of happiness or the taste for a joyful life.
    More

    The Truth and Colonel McGrath

    Tom Wall
    By the closing stages of World War Two, the Germans had assembled a substantial number of hostages, ranging from Allied army intelligence officers to rebels against Nazism, to politicians from defeated countries or former allies. Among them was an Irishman from Co Roscommon.
    More

    The Past Remains

    Piotr Florczyk
    Visitors to Ukrainian Lviv, once Polish Lwów, once Austro-Hungarian Lemberg, will find that while cultures and peoples and languages can be overwritten by others, often violently, they may reappear years later, to stand as evidence to the fact that complete erasure is never possible.
    More

    Let’s Shop

    Caoilfhionn Ní Bheacháin
    An historical study of consumer culture across several centuries provides fascinating insights, but its desire to be value-free and non-judgmental leaves unresolved many important questions about the sometimes appalling human costs of global capitalism.
    More

    The Wicked Uncle

    Pádraig Murphy
    The Wicked Uncle
    Stalin learned from Lenin that ruthlessness in pursuit of what might appear an impossible goal could pay off. In addition, the Marxist inheritance deified the State, the bearer of the highest truth of historical progress, while within the state the party was assigned an absolute status.
    More

    The Ends of History

    Ciaran Brady
    The figure of the Polish-born historian Lewis Namier is at the centre of an entertaining and hugely informative new study of intellectuals and of practising historians ‑ not always a synonymous set ‑ in the post-1945 atmosphere of the Cold War.
    More

    Let It Go

    John Banville
    Let It Go
    To forget history, in particular the history of great crimes, can seem both an offence against the dead and an abdication of our duty to ensure that such crimes are not repeated. But if forgetting does an injustice to the past, remembering may well do one to the present.
    More

    Batting for the Other Side

    Jim Smyth
    The Establishment recruited its members from Eton, Harrow and Winchester and from the ancient universities, Oxford and Cambridge. Its high-flyers staffed the Foreign Office, royal commissions, boards of trustees, the BBC and MI6. And some spied for the Soviet Union.
    More

    Gypsy Dancer

    David Blake Knox
    Johann Trollman was a gifted athlete who floated like a butterfly through German boxing bouts in the 1930s. But he was a member of the Sinti community, operating in a sport the Nazis considered a forum for the display of essential Aryan values. He could not be allowed to win.
    More

Categories