"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 

The Real McCorley

Ian McBride
Guy Beiner’s intellectual ambition puts him in a different league from most contemporary Irish historians. There have been other studies based on particular events, but Beiner’s account of the afterlife of the 1798 rebellion in Ulster is the only one likely to be read internationally by serious scholars of ‘memory’.
Oct 2, 2019, 14:28 PM

History from the Top

Barra Ó Seaghdha
An account of Irish history whose gaze is fixed on intellectual or elite culture and does not engage with whole areas of the existence of the inhabitants of the island, particularly those who found themselves on the sharp end of colonisation, must necessarily be an incomplete one.
Oct 1, 2019, 18:57 PM

Divided We Stand

Cecilia Biaggi
Initially, unionists and nationalists equally opposed partition, which was first proposed by British politicians in 1912 as a short-term expedient to overcome deadlock. In this context, the creation of two parliaments in Ireland served to delegate responsibility for unification to the Irish.
Oct 1, 2019, 17:53 PM

A Penny for their Thoughts

Maurice Earls
The liberal ‘Dublin Penny Journal’ and the conservative ‘Dublin University Magazine’, both published in the early 1830s, can be seen as Protestant responses to Catholic Emancipation, the responses of a group by no means ready to give up its ambition to control the Irish future.
Sep 5, 2019, 17:23 PM

Becoming One of Us

Martin Maguire
The population of a state can be expressed in terms of nationality and in terms of citizenship. Nationality is a sense of collective identity embracing past and future. It is a social and historical construct. Citizenship, however, is exclusively defined by the state as a matter of policy.
Sep 5, 2019, 16:10 PM

Collateral Damage

Enda O’Doherty
Thomas Niedermayer was a German factory manager whose plant brought much-needed jobs to West Belfast. A new book tells the story of his death at the hands of the IRA, and places it in the context of an armed campaign which was certain it would prevail but eventually had to settle for a lot less.
Jul 4, 2019, 11:38 AM

With Cú Chulainn, against democracy

Proinsias Ó Drisceoil
Standish O’Grady wanted the Ascendancy – both gentry and aristocracy ‑ to take on a role of leadership in Ireland, modelling themselves on the Gaelic heroes. Later he was to embrace syndicalism ‑ anything to block an emerging democracy with peasant proprietorship at its core.
Jul 4, 2019, 11:09 AM

Enter MacMorris

Patricia Palmer, David J Baker, Willy Maley
A new project underwritten by the Irish Research Council seeks to fill in blanks in our knowledge of early modern Ireland and to provide a full-screen, surround-sound account of a rich and complex culture on the brink of transformation in all its linguistic and cultural complexity.
Jul 4, 2019, 09:08 AM

Rory of the Hill

Kerron Ó Luain
Ribbonism was more resourceful and endured longer as a tradition than any other Irish secret society during the nineteenth century. With their Catholic and conspiratorial composition, the Ribbon societies played constantly on the minds of British officials and much of Protestant Ireland.
May 30, 2019, 20:02 PM

Nano Nagle, the Life and the Legacy, Raftery, Delaney and Nowlan-Roebuck

Nano Nagle’s emphasis on educating the Catholic poor had a political dimension and contributed to the integration of the several parts of Catholic Ireland into a whole which had the potential of politically focusing the majority. In this sense it is not too fanciful to see her  work as prefiguring that of O’Connell.
Apr 18, 2019, 22:42 PM

Monster Agitators: O’Connell’s Repealers, 1843 Ireland, Vincent Ruddy

O’Connell’s Monster Meetings came to an abrupt halt in October 1843 when the Viceroy  mobilsed four battalions of troops, some four hundred armed RIC and Metropolitan Police and moved three gunships into Dublin Bay 
Apr 11, 2019, 16:24 PM

Beyond Tweedledum and Tweedledee

Frank Callanan
The thesis that there are no real differences between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael does not hold water. The two parties have significant differences of attitude and approach, and to a limited degree of ideology. If this were not the case they would surely govern together rather than in alternation.
Apr 4, 2019, 10:46 AM

Protestant and Irish

John Horgan, Robbie Roulston, Niall Meehan
Three historians discuss issues raised by a new anthology outlining the varieties of Protestant experience in independent Ireland. Topics touched upon include religious segregation in education, privileged access to employment, and its disappearance, and national feeling.
Apr 3, 2019, 18:33 PM

Big and Little Lies

Henry Patterson
A new book argues that those who criticise the Good Friday Agreement for not creating a framework for dealing with the past or for not addressing the deep divide in the North, are missing the fundamental purpose of the accord, which was simply to deliver an end to violence.
Mar 6, 2019, 08:05 AM

Resisting Populism

Breandán Mac Suibhne
Actor, journalist, Fenian activist, historian, victim of police brutality, and, latterly, lawyer and lobbyist Gus Costello wrote with sympathy of the plight of African Americans in the ‘draft riots’ of 1863, a conflict featuring Irishmen on both sides, as police protectors and as members of the mob.
Mar 4, 2019, 18:43 PM

Out of his Depth?

Thomas Earls Fitzgerald
Cathal Brugha, a brave soldier but an inept politician, is probably best known for his tense relationship with Collins and his refusal to surrender during the fighting in O’Connell Street in the early stages of the civil war. He preferred to die fighting, charging his opponents head on.
Feb 4, 2019, 14:33 PM

Left in a Free State

Brian M Walker
Northern unionists developed the political and paramilitary muscle in the crisis of 100 years ago to defy nationalism and stay out of a united Ireland. Their Southern brethren were left with the options of accepting the will of the majority and becoming a minority in the new state or leaving.
Feb 4, 2019, 13:01 PM

Down on the Plantation

Seamus Deane
Slavery was not an institution in colonial Ireland. Rather the condition was reclassified as an almost ontological one, that of ‘poverty’. This had a natural alliance with ‘Irish’, just as ‘negro’ had with ‘slave’ in the racial hierarchy that helped assuage class subjection among American whites.
Feb 4, 2019, 12:56 PM

An Unsinkable Woman

Robert O’Byrne
In 1922, the 50-year-old Katherine Everett was despatched to see if anything could be saved from her godmother, Lady Ardilaun’s, property Macroom House. The story of her journey, the last 70 miles of it by bicycle, serves as a counterpoint to the blustery narratives of Ernie O’Malley and Tom Barry.
Jan 5, 2019, 12:25 PM

The Quest for the Celt

Michael Gibbons
A major archaeological study in 1930s Ireland carried out detailed measurement of a wide range of features from a representative sample of the population, with a particular focus on the shape and size of the Irish skull and its relationship to prevailing theories of racial descent and intellectual ability.
Jan 5, 2019, 11:51 AM