"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 

You Lose Again

George O’Brien
If country music is three chords and the truth, that truth seems to be couched in a comprehensive, many-shaded rhetoric of subjection, filled with stories of misguided departures, wrong turnings, the weakness of the flesh and, especially, how bad it hurts to feel alone.
Jul 2, 2020, 12:54 PM

The China in Us

Alena Dvořáková
Is ‘pragmatism’ toward China really a permission Europeans give themselves to revert to uses of power that are an inherent part of European history? Can the economic exploitation that produces clusters of infection in meat-processing plants and the suicides at Foxconn factories be linked?
Jul 2, 2020, 12:47 PM

The White Raven

Pádraig Murphy
Carl Schmitt, close to the authoritarians von Schleicher and von Papen, may have thought he would become indispensable in the new Germany as a useful legal expert. But Hitler, once in power, cared nothing for its legal basis, and still less for the intellectuals who trafficked in such matters.
Jul 2, 2020, 12:14 PM

The Struggles of Old Zeus

Gerald Dawe
Is art predicated upon the artist’s psychology? Is the cost of high achievement inevitably a compromise with mental health and the destruction of human bonds? Robert Lowell believed his creativity was inevitably tied to feelings of drowning, that there was some ‘flaw in the motor’.
Jul 2, 2020, 12:06 PM

The Political Anatomy of a Crime

Alice Stevens
Every conflict in Latin America is, at the heart of it, about land. Land tenure is vital in a region where such a large portion of the population is comprised of small farmers. Without much of a social safety net, land ownership is often the only security against starvation.
Jul 2, 2020, 12:00 PM

Freedom’s Just Another Word

Joe Cleary
There is a good deal of evidence to suggest that rock music was foundationally both socially liberal and economically neoliberal from the mid-70s onwards. The social liberalism may have been most evident in the music, the neoliberalism in the media infrastructures that carried it.
Jul 2, 2020, 11:53 AM

Roads Both Taken

Sean Sheehan
Novelist William Gibson likes to throw you into the narrative and semiotic deep end of two worlds in which history has bifurcated. Learning to navigate involves slow reading and getting your head around new concepts and associated lexicons, but it is worth the effort.
Jul 2, 2020, 11:44 AM

Succeeding in Solitude

Luke Warde
In 2014, the French writer Sylvain Tesson fell some ten metres while trying to scale the side of a friend’s home. The accident not only left him with lasting physical ailments; it also transformed him from enthusiastic global tourist to philosopher and aesthete of solitude.
Jul 2, 2020, 11:39 AM

Light, Dark

Neil Hegarty
In the world of Baret Magarian’s short stories, the consumption and commodification of late capitalism are examined coldly and found wanting. His characters crave worldly success, but there is a lesson to be learned: such contexts of luxury are invariably revealed as unstable.
Jun 3, 2020, 18:58 PM

The Hard Life

Ann Kennedy Smith
When he agreed to allow her to be his biographer Samuel Beckett told Deirdre Bair that his friends would help her and his enemies would also surely seek her out. She was to find that while Beckett was honourable if elusive, it could be hard to tell his friends and enemies apart.
Jun 2, 2020, 19:06 PM

Talk about a Revolution

Kevin Power
Fresh from Leaving Cert English, I wondered why so many of my university lecturers seemed more interested in overturning bourgeois liberalism than in reading novels. If what you really wanted was to be a revolutionary, why had you become a professor of English?
Jun 2, 2020, 19:01 PM

Time to Strike Out?

Rory Montgomery
That the EU functions as well as it does is an everyday miracle, made possible by an ingrained culture of compromise and commitment to ‘a shared Europe’. But from a basis of cautious pragmatism, there have also been times when the Union has deemed it essential to take a major step forward.
Jun 2, 2020, 18:53 PM

History in a Shoebox

Katrina Goldstone
The fashion writer Hadley Freeman came upon a shoebox when rummaging through her grandmother’s wardrobe. The past it hinted of led her on a hunt through the archives that eventually uncovered the tragic and inspiring history of her Jewish family’s experiences in wartime France.
Jun 2, 2020, 18:44 PM

Didn’t They Do Well?

Andy Pollak
Irish settlers in Argentina saw no contradiction between leaving a country wracked by land conflict and occupying land in the one to which they’d moved from which the native people had been expelled. For they were a civilised people and the dispossessed were savages.
Jun 2, 2020, 18:38 PM

Ireland Out of England?

John Wilson Foster
It has been suggested that a second New Ireland Forum should be convened to help dispel unionist fears of the inevitable united Ireland. Perhaps we should instead explore the intimate mutual relations between Ireland and Britain, something of a sore point, it seems, for many Irish.
Jun 2, 2020, 18:33 PM

Nuremberg Calling?

Shane Darcy
William Joyce, ‘Lord Haw-Haw’, was tried in connection with his propaganda broadcasts from Nazi Germany. Treason was the charge since he was a British subject, having obtained a passport by deception. Had he been tried at Nuremberg with other Nazis he might not have hanged.
Jun 2, 2020, 12:33 PM


Sean Byrne
Bundesbank president Wilhelm Vocke retired, laden with honours, in 1957 and was replaced by Karl Blessing. Both men had cheerfully served the Nazi regime. They could be rehabilitated because they fell out with the Nazis on monetary policy, though not, it seems, on any other matter.
Jun 2, 2020, 12:04 PM

Get Happy

Michael Byrne
In a winner-takes-all society there will always be more losers, and the chance of becoming one of them is greater, breeding, in many people, anxiety, poor health, even addiction. What if economics were to treat human beings as something more than soulless choice-machines?
Jun 2, 2020, 12:01 PM

The Dying of the Light

Maura O’Kiely
After months of being diminished, pared away piece by piece, the young French woman in the hospice is brought into the garden, where she is replenished by nothing more technical than honeysuckle, bees and a blue vault of sky. She is growing while dying, before her doctor’s eyes.
Jun 1, 2020, 15:42 PM

From Little Marseille

Afric McGlinchey
A generation of poets in Cork in the 1970s came under the charismatic influence of John Montague. Although he had the holy status of an ‘Ulster poet’ he was to direct his students’ attention towards American, British and European models rather than the domestic product.
Jun 1, 2020, 15:30 PM