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

The Most Gifted Woman in Ireland

Tadhg Foley
Hannah Lynch’s enthusiasm for travel was central to her writing. Her status as a lone, unchaperoned woman traveller, and coming from Ireland, a country much travelled against, doubtless sharpened her critique of existing dominant travel narratives.
Nov 5, 2020, 11:21 AM
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Unintended Consequences

Brian M Walker
In December 1920 the Catholic bishop of Cork said violence in the city had ‘become like a devil’s competition in feats of murder and arson’ between the IRA and Crown forces. Shortly afterwards a large gang of men destroyed the printing presses of the ‘Examiner’, which had printed his pastoral.
Nov 5, 2020, 11:07 AM
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The Boys of the Blue Brigade

Michael Lillis
The burning of churches and wholesale murder of priests and nuns during the Spanish Civil War provoked an expedition of Irish volunteers, led by the Blueshirt Eoin O’Duffy. Their intervention was to fizzle out in drunkenness, indiscipline and some not very Catholic behaviour in bars and brothels.
Sep 3, 2020, 14:19 PM
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The Queen’s English

Niall Ó Ciosáin
Language shift in Ireland has usually been seen as deriving from integration into the British economy and the resulting pragmatic choices made by peasants. But this is to neglect the role of the state, which conducted its business in English and tended to force its clients to do the same.
Sep 3, 2020, 13:51 PM
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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
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Holding the Fort

Gerard Horn
The fact that Trinity College, in central Dublin, was not taken by the insurgents in Easter 1916 can largely be credited to the defensive actions of colonial soldiers, including New Zealanders. The Rising, and the war that followed, put the New Zealand Irish in an invidious position.
Jun 1, 2020, 14:59 PM
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A Different Kind of Republic

Andreas Hess
While it is part and parcel of a ritual reaffirmation of identity, republicanism in Ireland has no practical significance in everyday life: it does nothing to alleviate burning problems in areas such as housing, health, transport or pollution. The concept once had other, more fruitful, meanings.
Apr 30, 2020, 18:06 PM
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The Long Road to Peace

John Swift
On whether strategic thinking in peace negotiations should outweigh moral considerations, Bertie Ahern’s mind was clear. Isolating the extremes and supporting the moderates would not solve the problem: the challenge was to make peace with your enemies, not your friends.
Apr 2, 2020, 13:57 PM
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Father of Us All

Sean Worgan
Arthur Griffith, the founder of the Sinn Féin movement in 1905, has been criticised over many of his attitudes, notably an alleged antisemitism and a lack of enthusiasm for the labour movement. A new biography seeks to qualify and contextualise some of these judgments
Apr 2, 2020, 13:06 PM
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Neither West Brit nor Little Irelander

Gerald Dawe
Irish Protestant identity  has always been a more complex and various business than is suggested by the image of a Big House aristocracy enduring terminal decline. Post-Brexit, the Republic will be forced to think more on this subject. Its past record has not always been inspiring.
Mar 2, 2020, 18:47 PM
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Red Shift

Tom Wall
The Soviet Union was happy in the 1980s to forge links with a party that was acquiring more than its fair share of young intellectuals, many with influence in the Irish trade union movement. Nevertheless, Sinn Féin the Workers Party’s hostility to the IRA was a problem for Moscow.
Jan 30, 2020, 12:55 PM
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Not so Innocent

Ciaran O’Neill
The ‘Irish slaves’ meme enjoyed considerable success on social media for some time before its lack of historical substance was exposed. As the evidence of both documents and bricks and mortar attests, there is more reason to be aware of Irish slaveowners than slaves.
Jan 30, 2020, 12:28 PM
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Standing Up for Justice

Patricia Craig
Mary Ann McCracken, sister of the executed 1798 leader Henry Joy, was an advanced thinker, a dedicated philanthropist and a model of composure, dignity and firmness. Long surviving her brother, she could be seen on Belfast docks aged 88 handing out anti-slavery pamphlets.
Jan 2, 2020, 17:53 PM
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A Champion for the Poor

Fergus O’Donoghue
Father John Spratt, a Dublin-born Carmelite priest whose energy seems to have been limitless, not only built Whitefriar Street church but established an orphanage, two schools, and a night refuge for children and dismissed servants. He also campaigned vigorously for temperance.
Dec 5, 2019, 17:24 PM
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The Cream Separatist Movement

Luke Gibbons
Is the country destined to always lag behind the city? Sinn Féin, a creation of the urban bourgeois intelligentsia, took off as a national movement when it spread to rural Ireland, meshing with the vigorous co-operative movement, the countryside radicalising the city.
Oct 29, 2019, 18:52 PM
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Ireland’s Imperial Elites

Seán William Gannon
Among Irish officers in the British army and colonial civil servants, ‘Irish’, ‘Anglo-Irish’, ‘English’ and ‘British imperial’ were seldom understood as mutually exclusive identities. That one could be simultaneously of Ireland, Britain, and empire was for most a self-evident article of faith.
Oct 29, 2019, 18:48 PM
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History from the top II

Barra Ó Seaghdha
Amid the consensus about Ireland being a victim of politicians, bankers and out-of-control developers, is it right to forget the additional uncomfortable fact that large numbers of ordinary Irish people had been ripping off their fellow-citizens with ardour during the Celtic Tiger years?
Oct 29, 2019, 18:42 PM
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Speaking to the nation

Maurice Walsh
In their closeness to the church, practical timidity and occasional cautious defiance of authority, Ireland’s provincial papers in the early 20th century were exemplars of that elusive quantity ‘moderate opinion’. Yet by 1918 most had moved in the direction of Sinn Féin.
Oct 29, 2019, 18:26 PM
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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
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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
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