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

The Better Truth

Philip Coleman
Theo Dorgan’s new collection contains many moving elegies for lost friends but also some of the most moving and beautiful love poems written by any poet writing in English over the last few decades.
Feb 3, 2015, 13:35 PM

An Incendiary Film

Caroline Hurley
DW Griffith’s ‘Birth of A Nation’, released a hundred years ago and based on a novel by the Scotch-Irish propagandist Thomas Dixon, portrayed the liberation of the slaves in the US South as a plot against civilisation and has been called the most controversial film of all time.
Feb 3, 2015, 13:31 PM

Thomas Patrick Byrne

Thomas Byrne
Thomas Patrick Byrne (1901-1940) was a casual labourer and soldier until he emigrated to the US, just in time for the great depression. The first in our new series, Irish Lives, in which we will publish brief family histories. Submissions are welcome.
Feb 3, 2015, 13:28 PM

Consoling Songs

Richard Hayes
Peter Fallon recognises bleakness – the barbed wire of the concentration camp ‘a crown of thorns around the temple of the world’. But, like Orpheus, he can too shape consoling songs from the shards of his own sorrow.
Feb 3, 2015, 13:17 PM

Holding the Balance

Pat Rabbitte
The Progressive Democrats did not break the mould of Irish politics and should bear some of the responsibility for creating the conditions that led to the 2008 economic collapse. But we should perhaps still be grateful to them for standing between Charles Haughey and absolute power.
Feb 3, 2015, 12:08 PM

Domestic Gothic

Mary Rose Doorly
In Alice Munro’s world, in which the grotesque frequently intrudes into the everyday, people often speak of great happiness and great tragedy in the same even voice, scarcely distinguishing between them and hardly ever varying the local tone of functional politeness.
Feb 3, 2015, 12:01 PM

Bright Spirits

John Borgonovo
Roy Foster’s new book focuses on a group of brilliant Irish bohemians and intellectuals who were active from 1916 to 1923, though often marginalised thereafter. Their lives are fascinating, but one should be wary of overstating their centrality to ‘the revolutionary generation’.
Feb 3, 2015, 11:45 AM

White Terror

Hugh Gough
The repression that followed the defeat of the left-wing revolt known as the Paris Commune led to almost four times as many deaths in ten weeks as the revolutionary terror had achieved in the city in eighteen months. Pope Pius IX called the victims “men escaped from hell”.
Feb 3, 2015, 11:29 AM

Death by Respectability?

John Horgan
The discussion group Tuairim, active in Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s, made many thoughtful contributions to intellectual debate, but it is another matter to say it was influential, in a society in which those with political ideas but outside formal politics were largely ignored.
Feb 3, 2015, 11:21 AM

A War Without End

David Blake Knox
Steam locomotive C5631 is proudly displayed in the museum at the Yasukuni Shrine in Japan, where prime ministers come to honour war criminals. There is no mention there of the hundreds of thousands of prisoners who died building the WWII railway on which it ran.
Feb 3, 2015, 11:19 AM

From the Jungle to the Plain

Peter Kempster
To prosper, the solitary animals of the jungle must ruthlessly pursue their own biological priorities. The social animals of the plain have the same drives but their brains must also identify situations where group interests override individual ones, and act accordingly.
Feb 3, 2015, 11:17 AM

An Irishman in Hollywood

Harvey O’Brien
Actors were clay in Rex Ingrams's sculptor’s hands, and his desire to shape and control every detail of his films had both positive artistic and inevitably negative interpersonal dimensions.
Feb 3, 2015, 11:08 AM

The Doubter

Antony Tatlow
Previous biographies have called almost everything about Bertolt Brecht, including his authorship of the works attributed to him, into doubt, while political changes have seemed to diminish his importance. But a new life, revealing a new Brecht, reasserts his importance.
Feb 3, 2015, 11:03 AM

Below Extinction’s Alp

Seamus O’Mahony
‘The Hard Conversation’ is what happens when a doctor reveals to a patient the no longer avoidable truth. But perhaps society should also have a hard conversation about the limits of medical science and the desirability of providing not infinite life but a decent end of life.
Feb 3, 2015, 10:53 AM