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

    The Modernist Moment

    Tom Hennigan
    Brazil, in the mid-twentieth century, saw a spectacular flourishing of architecture and town planning, associated with names like Niemeyer and Costa. But since then chaos and venality have returned, with builders rather than architects in the driving seat and recent hopes that the World Cup could be a game-changer disappointed.

    The Quintessence of the Balkans

    Maria Falina
    A brave and admirable attempt to explain the history of a little known part of an often misunderstood region is rendered problematic by the sheer complexity of the subject matter, with its multiple identities, contending occupying forces, obscure motivations and often complex loyalties.

    Freedom Smells Like French Perfume

    Angela Nagle
    Freedom Smells Like French Perfume
    Many feminists abhor Femen for its naked protests and apparent acceptance of conventional or trashy ideas of beauty, but there is also a more basic clash at work here between a direct confrontation with injustice and a new feminism which finds itself too embarrassed to oppose non-Western or Islamic forms of oppression of girls and women.

    Muddling Through

    Andreas Hess
    The surface noise of democratic politics can make leaders slow to recognise a crisis. The knowledge that previous crises have been overcome encourages delay; delay encourages drift; fear of drift encourages precipitate action; precipitate action encourages mistakes; mistakes encourage caution. And so the cycle wobbles on; we survive but don’t really go anywhere.

    Spies and Gentlemen

    Maeve Flanagan
    A new book focusing on Kim Philby, the Cambridge spies and the rivalry between MI5 and its more upper class sister service, MI6, argues that an astute Russian policy of penetration and the loyalties embedded in the class system combined to undermine the British intelligence services.

    Janus-Faced Europe

    It is now in the interests of the EU to set about calming the bear at its door, convincing the Russians that mutual respect and trade is in everyone’s interest and that no one will benefit from a new great game conducted in Eastern Europe.

    Look! No Wheels!

    The Cold War, or at least the First Cold War, is now long over. Curiously, it ended without a war. Afterwards, the US global hegemony that some predicted failed to materialise. As in other areas, victories in history don’t always amount to as much as was expected. Meanwhile the debate seeking a credible explanation for the implosion of the Soviet Union continues.

    On the Necessary Execution of a Prince

    Was the recent arrest, trial and execution of North Korea's number two politician just another sign of the madness of the regime? Or was it perhaps a sign to the people that things could actually change for the better and that no one - none of 'them' - was necessarily too powerful to evade punishment?

    Easy Does It

    Liam Hennessy
    Angela Merkel’s style, which is based on caution, analysis and calm calculation married with a commitment to tolerance in the public sphere, has seen her win three successive election victories. Will she be able to add political imagination to these virtues in the final phase of her career and so transform European politics?


    Fast food workers in the States don’t earn enough to eat ... fast food. Too bad, say the employers, what they do can easily be done by machines.