"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 

Imperial Warrior

Angus Mitchell
Kennedy Trevaskis was a colonial administrator for the British empire until, in 1964, he was sacked by a Labour minister he sneered at as ‘a Hampstead Socialist’. His memoir reminds us of a vanished world of empire in which, to those in charge, black lives didn’t greatly matter.
Oct 7, 2020, 10:26 AM
More

Our Enemies’ Enemies

John Mulqueen
At the outset of the Cold War, the Vatican and the United States had a project in common, helping senior Nazis escape justice by providing them with new identities and false papers. Their crimes became irrelevant as the West ‘turned on a sixpence’ to confront its new enemy, Russia.
Sep 3, 2020, 14:30 PM
More

Portrait of Fox

Adam Boate
Isaiah Berlin did not share the view that philosophy, and particularly practical philosophy, could be coherently pursued independently of history or, more specifically, of a certain historical self-awareness which springs from a knowledge and appreciation of the past.
Sep 3, 2020, 13:30 PM
More

A World of Tears

Leanne Ogasawara
The Dionysian horde that Nietzsche surely imagined battering the walls of the besieged city of Wörth in 1870 was the same horde that devastated Europe in the Thirty Years War in Rubens’s time. One war begets another, taking Europeans all the way back to the walls of Troy.
Jul 3, 2020, 08:01 AM
More

History in a Shoebox

Katrina Goldstone
The fashion writer Hadley Freeman came upon a shoebox when rummaging through her grandmother’s wardrobe. The past it hinted of led her on a hunt through the archives that eventually uncovered the tragic and inspiring history of her Jewish family’s experiences in wartime France.
Jun 2, 2020, 18:44 PM
More

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
More

Nuremberg Calling?

Shane Darcy
William Joyce, ‘Lord Haw-Haw’, was tried in connection with his propaganda broadcasts from Nazi Germany. Treason was the charge since he was a British subject, having obtained a passport by deception. Had he been tried at Nuremberg with other Nazis he might not have hanged.
Jun 2, 2020, 12:33 PM
More

For the Cause

John Mulqueen
In the mid-1930s, 40,000 men enlisted in the International Brigades to fight fascism in Spain. Many died, while the recollections of some who returned, like those published in a moving memoir from the mid-1970s, do not cast much credit on the organisers of the resistance.
Apr 30, 2020, 18:34 PM
More

Torturing for Democracy

Farrel Corcoran
Kurt Blome was a minister of Hitler’s Reich, directed its biological warfare programme and oversaw experiments on prisoners. He was not one of the seven Nazi scientists sentenced to death at Nuremberg; instead he was enabled to continue his research for the benefit of US military intelligence.
Mar 2, 2020, 16:56 PM
More

Scholarship, snobbery, skulduggery

Jim Smyth
Sir John Harold Plumb was a prodigious historian and journalist. a tireless networker, a professor, master of Christ’s College, a member of the British Wine Standards Board. He collected porcelain, paintings, wine, acolytes, enemies, dowager duchesses and other people’s wives.
Jan 30, 2020, 12:51 PM
More

Owning Up

David Donoghue
After initial attempts to simply forget the past and focus on economic reconstruction, Germany’s record of coming to terms with Nazi-era crimes has been impressive. The same, regrettably, cannot be said of the US with regard to the history of slavery and racism in the American South.
Jan 30, 2020, 12:31 PM
More

A European Destiny

Michael Foley
A massive and erudite history of southeastern Europe from late antiquity to the present demonstrates that the region is properly part of the continent’s history and culture rather than a transitional place between ‘Western’ order and civilisation and the chaos of the Orient.
Jan 30, 2020, 09:34 AM
More

Tarantulas and Dynamite

Sean Sheehan
Nietzsche’s reputation was tarnished for a long time by his posthumous adoption by Hitler. In fact the philosopher was repelled by antisemitism. It is now clear that his writings were curated after his death by his sister Elisabeth to make them Nazi-friendly.
Dec 5, 2019, 17:48 PM
More

People Power

John Swift
Does political democracy have a value in the absence of economic democracy? Should social distinctions be maintained? Ancient Athens largely practised a mixed system, with a modus vivendi between the classes that posed little threat to wealth and kept most public offices for the elite.
Oct 29, 2019, 18:32 PM
More

History from Hell

Tom Hennigan
The popular cultures of many European societies remain transfixed by the evil of Nazism while looking away from the record of their own ancestors. Yet the rise to global prominence of Portugal, Britain, Spain, France and the Netherlands rested largely on the horrific Caribbean slave trade.
Oct 2, 2019, 13:11 PM
More

A Beautiful Human Being

Patrick Quigley
When Poland was invaded in September 1939, the painter Jósef Czapski joined the cavalry reserve. Captured by the Russians, he escaped the fate of the officers murdered at Katyń and survived the camps, diverting his fellow prisoners with lectures on Proust reconstructed from his own memory.
Sep 5, 2019, 16:18 PM
More

What Was Lost

Jim Smyth
‘Declinist’ accounts of English history are not always consistent, but the outlines are clear: a once ‘organic’ community succumbed to commerce, scientific rationalism and, most corrosively, industrialisation. A vital common culture gave way to a cheapened mass society.
May 30, 2019, 19:45 PM
More

Time’s Factory

Fintan Calpin
Ali Smith’s novels have always been interested in deviant temporalities and ‘unexpected afterlives’. Her narratives are never singular or isolated, but a gathering of threads and she has also pushed at the formal boundaries between the novel and the essay.
May 2, 2019, 13:21 PM
More

The SS’s Bargaining Chips

David Blake Knox
As World War Two drew to an end, a number of prominent prisoners of the Germans were moved to South Tyrol in the Italian Alps. Among them were veterans of the Great Escape, two former European prime ministers and a handful of Irishmen who had served in the British army.
May 2, 2019, 07:29 AM
More

Peace to end Peace

Angus Mitchell
In making the case that war is simply humanity’s natural lot, other causes of conflict, such as secret diplomacy, the arms trade, inequality, censorship to protect national security and industrial capitalism’s wish to profit from misery, perhaps get off rather lightly.
May 2, 2019, 06:55 AM
More

Categories