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

    The Ascent of Women

    Ann Kennedy Smith

    ‘The average standard of mental power in man must be above that of women,’ Charles Darwin asserted. The opinion was perhaps surprising given the number of talented and active women he knew personally, as well as the wide-ranging social disadvantages they faced as a sex. Women working in the fields of botany, entomology and education often corresponded with the great scientist. 


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    Noises from Beneath

    Angela Nagle
    Cyberutopians promised us the Internet would bring the end of hierarchies, industry, nationalism and gender oppression. But its political claims have proven largely empty while it has continued to spawn a particularly vicious male geek culture of obscenity and misogyny. Nagle’s essay, published in 2013, introduced themes which were later to be developed in her very successful book Kill All Normies (2017).
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    He Meant Well

    Maurice Walsh
    In 1949, the US’s chief strategic thinkers believed themselves to be ‘for all our shortcomings not only great but good, and therefore a dynamic force in the mind of the world’. In such a spirit the CIA sent Colonel Edward Lansdale to Vietnam in 1954. The goodness, such as it was, proved to be not enough.
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    Not Quite at Home

    James Moran
    Dark-skinned people have lived in Britain for a very long time, according to some researchers from the Mesolithic era. Nevertheless, today’s black population remains disadvantaged and is not universally accepted. What is called ‘The Question’ – where are you from? – is never far away.
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    Homosexuals, Drunks and Weirdos

    Brian Boyd
    The British recruited their intelligence officers from the top echelons of society. When many of them turned out to be working for the other side the popular press turned on this ‘elite’ and, arguably, all ‘elites’, with deleterious effects on public thinking that may extend up to Brexit.
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    Love Me Why Don’t You?

    Jon Smith
    Love Me Why Don’t You?
    Donald Trump may appear to thrive on antagonism – and indeed he has no trouble finding it – but he is also a man who is desperate for approbation. A populist with a totalitarian mindset, he is that strangest of creatures – a political confidence man with no confidence.
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    Making Russia Great Again

    Pádraig Murphy
    Making Russia Great Again
    Vladimir Putin has made it clear that he plans to operate through an authoritarian state at home, while abroad he wishes Russia to be felt as a great power again, even if that means ‘breaking the American monopoly on the breaking of international law’.
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    Return of the Nativist

    Bryan Fanning
    The new nativism claims to be based on common-sense solidarity with fellow citizens. It differs from white nationalism and seems almost to wish to promote a kind of cohesion among Britain’s current ethnically diverse population by uniting it against new immigrants. 
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    Defending Freedom

    John Swift
    Contemporary critics of the human rights tradition argue either that it is a racket for the benefit of lawyers or that it is based on impractical idealism. But we should not forget what a dictatorship looks like; to fight for civilised decency is still important, and success is not impossible.
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    The New Law of War

    Gerry Kearns
    The US military presents the Middle East as permanently unstable, ignoring its own continual interventions in the region and portraying it rather as an external place from which the United States is repeatedly threatened and to which it is periodically required to return.
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