"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 

Dissenting Radical

Donal Fallon
Archibald Hamilton Rowan was viewed by both the authorities and his fellow members of the United Irishman as its leading light but his name has faded from memory compared with those of Tone or Emmet as he spent the most dramatic years of revolutionary activity in exile.
Jun 9, 2016, 16:36 PM

The Empire Strikes Back

Paul Hyde
Roger Casement wanted a free Ireland restored to the nations of Europe but he passionately wanted something else, something which he was unusually placed to understand, the dismemberment of the British empire. Captured and tried, he was unlikely to be forgiven.
Jun 9, 2016, 16:46 PM

Meet the Folks

Nicola Gordon Bowe
The term ‘Celts’ has been used for 2,500 years and has changed its meaning many times. Though a cultural construct, it continues to strike a chord both nationally and globally among the populations of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and in their diaspora communities around the world.
Jun 9, 2016, 17:44 PM

A Rising Diary

A journal kept during April and May 1916 reflects the experience of the Easter Rising of a professional family who lived in Dublin’s Merrion Square, a comfortable part of south Dublin but one which was in close proximity to some of the fiercest fighting.
Jun 9, 2016, 18:30 PM

Out of the Rut

John Horgan
The 1960s saw Ireland escaping for a few years from the glumness of the previous decade before crisis returned in 1973. It was a happy time to be middle class and young. However, the good times were differentially distributed and not everyone’s memories are happy.
Jun 9, 2016, 22:59 PM

Not a Woman’s Place

Bryan Fanning
A classic study of the figures who made independent Ireland has been reprised after more than fifty years. Taken together, the books illustrate the main currents in Irish historiography, while the new volume corrects the earlier one’s hagiographic tone and neglect of women.
Jul 13, 2016, 08:09 AM

Havens for the Riff-raff

Pádraig Yeates
In the early years of the state, the poor, widowed, orphaned and illegitimate were seen as problem groups that were a drain on scarce resources, a threat to the social order and a disgrace to the nation. They needed policing and, where necessary, confinement.
Jul 13, 2016, 08:22 AM

They Call It Peace

Patrick J Murray
A new collection of participants’ accounts of England’s wars in sixteenth century Ireland reveals the extreme means – starvations, burnings, decapitations, slaughter of women, children and the elderly – by which its soldiers and administrators claimed to have pacified the country.
Aug 30, 2016, 08:34 AM

Back to the Future

Niall Crowley
Ireland’s experience of nation-building, which in reality was a far from adventurous one, was first driven by Catholicism and cultural nationalism and then by economic development and human capital.
Aug 30, 2016, 10:32 AM

Door Into The Dark

David Wheatley
Proponents of the ‘best are leaving’ theory of emigration deplored the losses but were wary of the suggestion that providing a basic standard of living was any business of the Irish state. Anti-materialists feared prosperity could weaken the racial stock by making life too easy.
Oct 4, 2016, 19:02 PM

After the Catechism

Carmel Heaney
Morality and moral behaviour, based on informed choices, lead to good laws and good policy. There is a concern that, if religious education disappears from schools, society could bankrupt the moral capital accumulated through centuries of Christian faith – unless we have something strong to replace it.
Oct 6, 2016, 04:55 AM

Sins of the Advocate

Frank Callanan
The Irish-American lawyer John Quinn defended Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap of the ‘Little Review’ from prosecution for publishing extracts from ‘Ulysses’. The prosecution led to the effective banning of the book in 1921. Quinn’s defence strategy left a lot to be desired.
Nov 9, 2016, 18:21 PM

Too Long A Sacrifice

Fergus O’Ferrall
French Catholic intellectual influences were very evident in Catholic middle class culture in early twentieth century Ireland and were openly embraced in Joseph Mary Plunkett’s The Irish Review, a journal which promoted ‘a particularly religiose form of nationalism’.
Dec 7, 2016, 10:38 AM

Ministering to All

Thomas FitzGerald

Families and generations were often divided over the wisdom of making war on the British. One west Cork IRA man recalled his patriotic parents saying “in the name of God, are you mad taking on the British Empire?”. Like the people the priests were also divided, although their difficulties eased somewhat with the arrival of the unambiguously invasive Black and Tans.

Dec 7, 2016, 11:41 AM

Making the Jump

Frank Barry
A ‘hard Brexit’ will undoubtedly create grave difficulties for Irish-owned businesses and ‘tariff-jumping’ foreign direct investment will come to seem an obvious response. Irish firms will establish operations in the UK, as Jacob’s, Guinness and Carroll’s have done in the past.
Dec 7, 2016, 14:28 PM

Bunker Days

Witness Seminar
In December 1985 a number of Irish civil servants bedded down in a bleak office-cum-living quarters in Belfast, their job to oversee the implementation of the Anglo-Irish Agreement. With protesters howling at the gates, they lived under siege, but gradually established good relations with many of their political and security partners.
Dec 7, 2016, 14:32 PM

Not So Very Different

Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke

There can at times be an attention-seeking particularism about Irish writing - look at us, and at how unique and how very interesting we are. But in terms of our post-independence economic history we are much like many comparable peripheral European states, with similar failures.

res and similar successes.

Jan 5, 2017, 19:36 PM

Proof or Imagination?

Frank MacGabhann
A new book on Casement’s Black Diaries refuses to consider the possibility that these were a forgery. One sad consequence of the focus on whether Casement was or was not a homosexual and engaged in predatory acts is that it detracts from his hugely important work as a humanitarian.
Jan 5, 2017, 22:18 PM

Against Liberalism

Gordon Warren
In the newly independent Ireland of the 1920s, the Jesuit social theorist Edward Cahill argued strongly for the adoption of specifically Catholic principles in government, as well as resistance to what he saw as the corrosive effects of an unwanted legacy of British liberalism.
Feb 9, 2017, 15:01 PM

A Canine Resurrection

David Blake Knox
The ancient Irish Wolfhound was chosen as an emblem for the Abbey Theatre and a mascot for the Irish Volunteers. But in fact the dog we know as the Wolfhound is far from ancient and far from ‘pure’. And perhaps, as such, it is not an unsuitable symbol for the Irish ‘race’.
Mar 8, 2017, 13:05 PM