I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

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The Fashion for Fascism

Mussolini in Myth and Memory: The First Totalitarian Dictator, by Paul Corner, Oxford University Press, 179 pp, £20, ISBN: 978-0192866646 The Pope At War: The Secret History of Pius XII, Mussolini & Hitler, by David I Kertzer, Oxford University Press, 621 pp, £25, ISBN 978-0192890733 I begin writing this review on a day (October 13th, […]

Bohemian Encounters

Postcards from Absurdistan: Prague at the End of History, by Derek Sayer, Princeton University Press, 752 pp, £38, ISBN: 978-0691185453, ISBN: 978-0691239514 (e-book) Postcards from Absurdistan is the third volume in a ‘loose trilogy of cultural histories’ in which Derek Sayer has argued that European modernity is best examined from a vantage point located, both […]

Singing Ireland’s Song

Books drawn on in this essay include: Bard of Erin, The Life of Thomas Moore, by Ronan Kelly, Penguin Ireland, 624 pp, £25.00, ISBN: 978-1844881437 Memoirs of Captain Rock, by Thomas Moore, Longman 1824, Field Day 2008, 328 pp, €25.00, ISBN: 978-0946755370 Captain Rock Detected, by Mortimer O’Sullivan, T Cadell, 1824, 450 pp,   With […]

Idols and Good Old Gods

The arrival of Christianity in Ireland and the unhelpful notion of ‘paganism’

Changing the Question

The triumph of liberal Britain, which survived the eclipse of the party

Shipyard Radical

The life of Belfast trade unionist and revolutionary socialist James Baird

‘The Catholic Church’

What ‘everyone knows’ about Catholic Ireland, and the more complex reality

The Grapes of Mirth

The traditions and development of a very special Spanish wine

Their Story

Nine families of sister siblings who were influential in Irish history

The Best Intentions

A British soldier and administrator in 18thc America, India and Ireland