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

The Orangeman who loved Ireland

Andy Pollak
The prolific singer, actor, traveller, film-maker and writer Richard Hayward, who died in 1964, was in many ways a pre-partition figure, the kind of Irishman who combined a passionate love of his country with a strong unionist allegiance that was not uncommon in the nineteenth century.
Jan 4, 2015, 15:25 PM

"Becoming Freud" Review Issue 61

Ross Skelton

Ross Skelton responds to a review of Adam Phillips’s Becoming Freud by Seamus O’Mahony in Issue 61 of the drb.

Jan 4, 2015, 14:43 PM

The Great Extermination

Patrick Duffy
In 1810 Alexander Wilson watched, in Kentucky, a ‘prodigious’ procession of wild pigeons which took six hours to pass over him. The column, he estimated, had been 240 miles long. Just over a hundred years later the last passenger pigeon died in captivity, having never laid a fertile egg.
Jan 4, 2015, 13:10 PM

Partisan reviews

Bryan Fanning
From Pearse and Connolly, through AE, Sean O’Faolain, John Mulcahy and Vincent Browne, a number of specialist periodicals have set out to write against the grain of mainstream Irish society and provide a space for diversity of opinion not available in national newspapers or the provincial press.
Jan 4, 2015, 13:05 PM

End of an Era

Pádraig Murphy
The Ukraine crisis has demonstrated, if further demonstration was required, that Russia will pursue its interests aggressively in what it regards as its legitimate sphere of interests around its borders ‑ and that Europe and the West have no agreed policy on how to react to this.
Jan 4, 2015, 12:56 PM

The Uses of Art

John Fanning
Alain de Botton has been the recipient of much sniffy condescension, being characterised as a chiropractor of the soul. But this is somewhat unfair: he is not trying to make us happy but to help us to understand ourselves better, and he sees art and philosophy as allies in this pursuit.
Jan 4, 2015, 12:46 PM

A Captain among the Pigeons

Tom Wall
Invited to run for the Dáil by the Donegal Republican Workers Council, Jack White insisted he would do so only under the etiquette ‘Christian Communist’. A key figure in the formation of the Irish Citizen Army and collaborator of Connolly and Larkin, Captain White is the subject of a new study.
Jan 4, 2015, 12:44 PM

Enemies Within

James Moran
Irish names crop up with a fair degree of regularity among the promoters of xenophobia in contemporary Britain. A study of the interwar period demonstrates that Irish migrants were then the subject of similar unsound suspicions and fears of being ‘swamped’ by ‘scroungers’.
Jan 4, 2015, 12:40 PM

Getting the Sauce Right

Paschal Donohoe
The conventional wisdom is that small states have little power in the face of globalisation and must do the bidding of larger states, multinational companies and international organisations. Other evidence, however, suggests that it is small states which perform best in the globalised world.
Jan 4, 2015, 12:37 PM

The Borrowers

Ian Maleney
As corporate profits soar, the working poor are increasingly driven into the hands of unscrupulous ‘payday’ lenders charging extortionate interest. Regulation can have some positive effect but the real solution, for individuals and the economy, is to pay a living wage.
Jan 4, 2015, 12:35 PM

Slaying the Octopus

Tom Hennigan
Brazilians have decided that the Workers Party’s efforts to improve the lives of tens of millions of the poor trump the fact that after twelve years in power it is now as corrupt as the regimes that preceded it. But corruption itself is an obstacle to pursuing the equality agenda.
Jan 4, 2015, 12:31 PM

Sharp words from elsewhere

Thomas McCarthy
Like a cranky uncle who has spent too long in the tropics, Harry Clifton has thrown insults at every poet-cousin he has read, yet his own verse seems to know more and to be wiser than his often ill-advised urges to lecture others on what they are doing wrong might suggest.
Jan 3, 2015, 17:14 PM

A Life in Books

Carlo Gébler
Denis Sampson’s memoir has no major dramas, and all its crises are inward and personal. Nevertheless it gives readers a sense of what constitutes the real value and the real worth of literature and  writers a sense of what is possible, which can only be good for standards.
Jan 3, 2015, 17:11 PM

Good Remembering

Gerald Dawe interviewed by Andrea Rea
Five questions for Gerald Dawe from US radio journalist and presenter Andrea Dawe on the occasion of the publication of his collection Mickey Finn’s Air cover composition and selection, memories of Galway and the difference between nostalgia and sentimentality.
Jan 3, 2015, 17:09 PM

Time is What We’re Made of

Ailbhe Darcy
Peter Sirr professes wariness of ‘consoling fictions’, of too easy moments of spiritual plenitude, which too easily pass from us again. His new collection catalogues temporary moments of access to the eternal, but it also stresses our inevitable mortality.
Jan 3, 2015, 17:04 PM

Travel and Cosmopolitanism

Danielle Petherbridge

Michelle de Kretser’s Dublin IMPAC Award-shortlisted novel, Questions of Travel, delves into the many meanings of home. The Sri Lankan-born author explores themes of trauma, dislocation and inequity between modern travellers, revealing the disparities between those forced and those free to move around the globe.

Jan 3, 2015, 17:00 PM