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

    Smile, and turn up the power

    Martin Tyrrell
    Smile, and turn up the power
    In a Yale experiment in the 1960s, social psychologist Stanley Milgram found that large numbers of ordinary, inoffensive people were prepared to administer painful electric shocks to another person, similarly ordinary and inoffensive, sometimes even when a fatality seemed possible.
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    Macavity was there

    Matthew Parkinson Bennett
    Macavity was there
    Founded in 1929, Faber & Faber had the benefit of the best connections and an astute director who also happened to be one of Britain’s greatest poets. Still, it might not have survived all those years as an independent publisher had it not been for a certain collection of children’s verse.
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    A troll avant la lettre

    Luke Warde
    A troll avant la lettre
    ‘You can’t say a thing these days’ is the predictable chorus of the reactionary in the face of ‘political correctness gone mad’. In reality they say all they want to say: as the French antisemitic writer Céline put it, ‘once you’re recognised to be a clown you can say anything’.
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    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.
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    Morbid symptoms

    John Wilson Foster
    The Western literary canon is only one casualty in North American departments of English, superseded by courses designed to redress the sins of white male patriarchs and colonialists. The curriculum spirals outwardly, growing ever more specialised by cultural minority.
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    Martha or Mary?

    Caitriona Clear
    Should religious women stay in their own ‘female’ spheres, or compete on an equal level with men in worlds constructed by and for men? Some Protestant American women have chosen to follow the religious life quietly while others embrace showbusiness and razzmatazz.
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    For the dark times ahead

    Andreas Hess
    In the early 1930s Bertolt Brecht fled Germany for Prague, then spent some time in Paris before escaping to Denmark, Sweden and eventually Finland, before finally travelling via the Soviet Union to the United States. His experience as a mid-twentieth century refugee is far from irrelevant today.
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    The Greatest of These

    George O’Brien
    Colbert Kearney comes from a strong republican tradition: his IRB grandfather wrote the words of the national anthem. The grandson’s memoir, however, is less concerned with ‘the people’ than with persons, in particular his father, whose love for his family is here celebrated, and repaid.
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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.
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    Is Larkin good for you?

    Johnny Lyons
    A defining characteristic of art, as Martin Amis wrote, is its inability to lower our spirits, even if its message is irredeemably gloomy. The genius of Philip Larkin’s poetry rests, at least in part, on his gift of somehow sublimating our appreciation of life by amplifying its ordinariness.
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