"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 

Blood of Spain

John Mulqueen
In the first half of 1936 there were seventy political killings a month in Spain. This was really nothing new, rather the latest outbreak in a long war between ‘the ordered, timeless hierarchies’ of church, army and landowner and the urban proletariat and its peasant allies.
Mar 3, 2021, 19:42 PM

Hergé’s Adventures in Politics

Martin Tyrrell
Hergé, the creator of Tintin, was one of many Belgians to respond to an appeal from King Leopold to return to the country they had fled after its 1940 surrender and resume normal life. When the Allies landed in Normandy four years later some of them felt it wise to leave again.
Mar 3, 2021, 19:18 PM

After the Deluge

Tom Inglis
People’s inability during the pandemic to behave morally and refrain from actions that threaten the common good has meant that in protecting the public states will have to rely more on law than persuasion. Legal enforcement is coming down the road ‑ as surely as it did with drink-driving.
Mar 3, 2021, 15:41 PM

Foxing It Up

Farrel Corcoran
Later this year two new British channels will bring a decidedly right-wing flavour to the TV news sector in a move that will have implications for Ireland too. Both will target the BBC as ‘left-leaning’, employing a game plan that has been marinating for years in American news culture.
Mar 3, 2021, 15:33 PM

A Tale of Two Viruses

Hongling Zhang
The writer Fang Fang’s honest, poignant reports from Wuhan won her immense popularity and were read by millions of desperate people on social media. But when her diary was published in Britain, she became a state traitor who had empowered the West by handing it ‘a knife’.
Mar 3, 2021, 15:20 PM

People Like Us

John Fanning
Society’s losers suffer not just from economic but cultural deprivation and loss of self-esteem. The winners have the opposite condition, hubris and a tendency to preen themselves on their success while refusing to accept that much of it has come from luck or loading of the dice.
Mar 3, 2021, 15:07 PM

No We Can’t

Daniel Geary
Barack Obama had all the qualities that make for a great president. Competent, incorruptible, calm yet decisive, he had a genuine care for how his governance affected ordinary people. He was truly a once-in-a-generation politician ‑ which makes his failures only more disheartening.
Feb 4, 2021, 14:54 PM

News from Nowhere

Michael Foley
Some of what passes for news comes not from ‘the coal face’ but from the fevered brains of its inventors. In a guide to news in the era of fake news Alan Rusbridger says Murdoch’s Fox News will have a ‘special place in journalistic hell’ for its Covid coverage, which contributed to numberless deaths.
Feb 4, 2021, 14:40 PM

Not for Gain Alone

Max Skjönsberg
Edmund Burke is often regarded as the father of political conservatism, but his views were in many ways quite different from those of a more recent Tory icon: society not only existed but was a sacred partnership between the living, the dead and those who were yet to be born.
Feb 4, 2021, 14:25 PM

An End to Growth

Tom Lordan
The catalyst for the growth of the world economy, manufacturing, which sparked into life in the nineteenth century and generated vast amounts of wealth, has finally exhausted itself, a new book argues. But will the end of growth also necessarily imply the end of work?
Jan 7, 2021, 16:43 PM

From Drift to Decadence

John Fanning
It has plausibly been suggested that we now have the capability to transform the five fundamentals of the global economy ‑ information, energy, transport, fuel and materials ‑ into sustainable production at minimal costs compared to the present. The problem is that we lack the will.
Jan 7, 2021, 16:39 PM

The C Word

Paul O’Mahoney
American business has been striking a newly pious note, emphasising its duties towards customers, employees, suppliers, communities. Unsurprisingly, there is nothing about the state, or a corporation’s obligation to pay taxes that can be used for the benefit of citizens.
Jan 7, 2021, 13:33 PM

The War on Words

David Blake Knox
Spoken Chinese is a tonal language quite unlike English – with four possible tones to each sound and a fifth atonal sound that can turn a sentence into a question. The chief problems that translators of ‘Ulysses’ have faced in mainland China are not, however, issues of language but of politics.
Jan 7, 2021, 13:04 PM

Two Legs Bad

Martin Tyrrell
George Orwell never wavered in his belief in democratic socialism, though he feared those in charge might succumb to the lure of totalitarianism. The author of a new study of the writer, however, argues that a socialist society is beyond human reach ‑ since we are simply not morally up to it.
Dec 6, 2020, 16:34 PM

The Liar’s Dividend

Luke Warde
If what passes for political satire has as its chief effect the buttressing of the belief that all politics is mired in deceit, then shameless, unconcealed mendacity can come to seem, however perversely, refreshingly honest ‑ with results that by now are too depressingly clear.
Nov 5, 2020, 11:12 AM

Empire Loyalists

Maurice Walsh
For Walter Bagehot, the best-known editor of ‘The Economist’, the prospect of workers organising to defend their interests represented ‘an evil of the first magnitude’. The paper’s first love, however, was always empire, British of course; but after that ran out of road American would do.
Oct 7, 2020, 10:06 AM

The Right People

Frank Callanan
It is offensive to regard true democratic values as the exclusive possession of classic liberalism. But perhaps we should all audit the prejudices we derive from our own political tribe and orientation and ask what in them might be inessential ‑ or even plain wrong.
Oct 6, 2020, 19:42 PM

Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

John Fanning
Many huge companies continue to ignore environmental and societal issues and carry on despoiling the planet and exploiting their workers in the name of profit maximisation. But such organisations – let us call them the ‘hairy bacon capitalists’ – are not immune to public opinion.
Oct 6, 2020, 19:31 PM

Commodity Citizenship

Tadgh Healy
Citizenship is an arbitrary status that to a large extent determines the material conditions of one’s future. More than class, gender or race, it is the most important factor affecting one’s life chances. Put crudely, some passports come with an array of desirable entitlements; others do not.
Sep 3, 2020, 14:10 PM

A Modern Utopian

Bryan Fanning
Dominic Cummings favours government guided by experts trained in mathematics and scientific thinking. This idea of epistocracy, rule by those who know, is emerging at a time when the right no longer trusts global free markets and politics have considerably dumbed down.
Jul 2, 2020, 13:06 PM