"The drb sustains a level of commentary on Irish and international matters that no other journal in Ireland and few elsewhere can reach. It deserves all the support that can be given it." X
Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

Shop Girls, High and Low

The arrival of the department store at the end of the nineteenth century gave birth to a new social actor, the shop girl specialising in sales. Exploitation, of more than one kind, remained, but here was a figure with more pride and independence than the traditionally heavily oppressed grocery employee.
More

First catch your hare

Strangely bored on a weekend in the country in the late 1940s with an old lover rediscovered, Elizabeth David’s thoughts turned to apricots and olives, lemons, oil and almonds. In grey, rainy, puritanical England one didn’t mention such things. Hell, they were dirty words!
More

War is peace, freedom is slavery ... left is right?

Seventy years ago Fred Warburg published 'Nineteen Eighty-four', which he saw as a deliberate attack on socialism and socialist parties generally and 'worth a cool million votes to the Conservative Party'. He can't have known George Orwell all that well.
More

The French Are Different

In Ireland we like to have a good bunch of Independents, on top of the usual political parties, to choose from. In France they like having a huge variety of parties, and behind them any number of political clubs, currents, think tanks and factions. It’s the ideas, you see: they’re mad for the ideas.
More

The Politics of Good Intentions

The ‘shared community’ that Alliance champions in Northern Ireland is unlikely to come into being, but the existence of divisions provides a fertile ground for a politics of good intentions that, while it cannot alter fundamental political differences, provides the basis for a third form of identity politics.
More

The Costs of Technology

A tradesman’s demand for a fee that seemed exorbitant led ‘The Irish Penny Magazine’ back in 1840 to muse on the relative value of slaves in America and the children of the poor in Ireland.
More

LP Curtis Jnr: 1932-2019

Lewis Perry Curtis, one of the leading twentieth century historians of modern Ireland, taught at Princeton, Berkeley and Brown universities and published important books on land reform, landlordism and eviction and racial stereotyping of the Irish, both in Britain and the United States.
More

Why the long face?

He was one of the richest men in Venice. His ships were everywhere on the seas, bringing silks and spices from the east home and then on to the markets of northern Europe. He had money, he had respect, he had friends. So why wasn’t he happy?
More

Who are the Irish?

In the nineteenth century many Irish Protestants, like Barack Obama’s ancestor Fulmouth Kearney, a shoemaker from Co Offaly, continued to emigrate to America. Others with a Catholic background became Protestant, such as Ronald Reagan, brought up in the faith of his Presbyterian mother.
More

A Timely Death

The great Austrian writer Joseph Roth fled Germany in 1933 to take refuge in Paris, from which haven he never tired of attacking the Nazis. He was fortunate enough to die, eighty years ago today, before German forces and their repressive apparatus entered the city.
More

Sleeping with the Enemy

The party system of European states, George Soros argues, continues to reflect the capital-labour divisions that mattered in the 19th and 20th centuries. But the cleavage that matters most today is the one between pro- and anti-European forces. Well up to a point, Mr Soros.
More

Eastward Ho!

Peter Sirr prowls the tangled history and contemporary reality of Dublin’s Docklands.
More

Sharp Right Ahead

European social democracy has lost ground in recent years, in spite of a notable success in Spain last month. Social democrats in Denmark, which goes to the polls next month, are offering ‘muscular’ policies on immigration and integration, making them sound very like the populist far right.
More

Omani novelist wins Man Booker International

Jokha Alharthi's novel 'Celestial Bodies' provides readers with 'access to ideas and thoughts and experiences you aren’t normally given in English', according to the judges. The £50,000 prize money will be shared equally between Alharthi and her translator, Marilyn Booth.
More

Men at Arms

The differing attitudes of Irishmen in the period from 1914 to 1922 and beyond can be seen through a brief history of three men. One of them, Emmet Dalton, served with distinction alongside Michael Collins. He had previously been in the British army, and he wasn’t ashamed of that.
More

Earning Death

Jean Rhys disappeared off everyone’s radar for fifteen years after the critical success of her pre-war novels, eventually emerging from poverty and obscurity to produce ‑ in spite of ill health and alcoholism ‑ her masterpiece, published to great acclaim in her late seventies.
More

Can Spring be far behind?

Percy Shelley felt, in winter’s grip, a presentiment of coming spring. It’s true there is a certain inevitability to these things and the leaves have never failed to return to the trees yet. But the wait can sometimes be a bit tedious.
More

Jane Austen and IVF

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of the $800 needed to buy a vial of pre-screened sperm will wish to be informed of the heritable characteristics of its donor. A man of parts will certainly be favoured, yet even more so one of amiable and ductile temper.
More

Karol Modzelewski 1937-2019

The distinguished Polish historian spent eight years in prison for his activism in favour of free trade unions and political democracy. He was also the man who came up with the name by which the movement he was engaged in building would become known, Solidarność.
More

No Pizza. No Lasagne. No Directions.

There are a number of places in Europe where no one, except for some not very numerous sellers of tourist tat, wants any more visitors. In fact they’d prefer to be without the ones they have. So will we be staying away? No, no, let the others stay away. I need my culture.
More