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

Reasonable Doubt

Frank Callanan
A study of Joyce’s literary use of the law by the late Adrian Hardiman stresses the writer’s ‘persistent assertion of the need for philosophical and judicial doubt as a proper, moral and humane reaction to the inadequacy of evidence’.
Sep 3, 2017, 12:54 PM

Compassion, Empathy, Flapdoodle

Seamus O’Mahony
Neuroscientific speculation has escaped from the laboratory and is now the rickety foundation for scores of bestselling, populist books. The sceptical writer and journalist Steven Poole has described the phenomenon as ‘an intellectual pestilence’ and ‘neurotrash’.
Sep 3, 2017, 12:38 PM

The Russian Troika

Pádraig Murphy
The history that played out for Lenin and his commissars, who assumed dictatorial powers, was built on tactical opportunism coupled with simple good luck. One of the first acts was the setting up of the Cheka political police, with the slogan “Death to the bourgeoisie” written on its walls.
Sep 3, 2017, 12:03 PM

Time After Time

Tom Cleary
It has been estimated that the population of Ireland may reach 10 million by 2050; a sizeable proportion of that number will not be ‘native Irish’. Hungary, resistant to immigration, now has 10 million inhabitants, the same as eighty years ago, and this will very probably fall.
Sep 3, 2017, 10:31 AM

Beyond Anger

John Fanning
If the centre-left is to regain some influence in politics it will have to become more interesting. Accepted wisdom on becoming more interesting these days seems to revolve around finding the right “personality”. But let us not forget the importance of policies and ideas.
Sep 3, 2017, 08:31 AM

Those Who Remain

Julia O’Mahony
The new collection from Katie Donovan presents an unflinching look at the realities of living with and caring for a husband with a terminal illness while also acknowledging the chance fragments of joy she experiences as she continues to raise her young family.
Sep 3, 2017, 08:23 AM

Whiskey In The Jar

Keith Payne
An intoxicating new study of Irish pot still whiskey tells us what it is and how it is made, while also managing to bring into the blend economic and social history, gastronomy, revolution, science and alchemy, Prohibition, Catholic Emancipation and the temperance movement.
Sep 3, 2017, 08:14 AM

The City Spreads Out

Erika Hanna
Dublin is often celebrated as a Georgian city, or a medieval or Viking one. But for many Dubliners it has been essentially a mid-twentieth century city. It was in these decades, from the 1930s through to the 1960s, that the suburbs where many of us grew up were built.
Sep 3, 2017, 07:55 AM

Deep Work at Dollarton

Shane Barry
Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano was greeted on its publication as a ‘magnificent, tragic, compassionate, and beautiful book’. Yet its author was a far from beautiful person. How did a chronic alcoholic with a chaotic, violent lifestyle manage to write such a work?
Sep 2, 2017, 18:00 PM

A Soul in Wonder

Sean O’Hogain
As a poet, Michael Longley has so many sides to him that he is, for all practical purposes, round. His lyrical gift is wedded to a lightly worn but well-used education, an eye for detail and an ear for music.
Sep 2, 2017, 17:44 PM

In Love With Death

Eugene Brennan
Is Islam a violent or a peaceful religion? Rather than cherrypicking the sacred texts, we might be better served by sociology and reception studies: rather than trying to decipher what the Quran says, that is, one might usefully listen to what Muslims think and say it says.
Sep 2, 2017, 17:15 PM

The Virags and the Blooms

Martin Greene
Ulysses may have no story, but it does contain a multitude of little ones. Though artfully assembled, these can also be difficult to follow because the information provided is often incomplete, widely dispersed, presented out of sequence or hidden in obscure passages of text.
Sep 2, 2017, 17:01 PM

His Poor Materials

Liam Harrison
Samuel Beckett’s fidelity to ‘trash’ objects – boots, bikes, bowler hats, crutches - his persistent use of them in different mediums, indicates that such objects held a unique position in his creative process, forming an ‘art of salvage’ which can be traced across his life’s work.
Sep 2, 2017, 16:35 PM

Leading from the Left

Jeremy Kearney
The remarkable rise of Jeremy Corbyn has changed the nature of the political debate in the UK. By highlighting the failure of the austerity agenda and the neoliberal ideology that underpinned it, he has returned left-wing ideas to the centre of political discourse.
Sep 2, 2017, 16:21 PM

Christian Knowledge

Tom Inglis
Sociology, as taught in late twentieth century Ireland, was a discipline in which there was no interrogation of power, no analysis of social class, no questioning of patriarchy, no theorising about the role of the state and, in particular, no examination of the power of the Catholic church.
Sep 2, 2017, 15:45 PM

The German Friend

Gisela Holfter
Heinrich Böll, born a hundred years ago, had a unique relationship with Ireland. He and his wife played a huge role, as translators, in introducing German readers to Irish literature. His own book the ‘Irisches Tagebuch’ was a huge seller in Germany - though more controversial here.
Sep 2, 2017, 15:26 PM