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.

Home Issue 46, December 2nd, 2013

Issue 46, December 2nd, 2013

Takes All Kinds

Herodotus was intensely interested in all forms of oddity or unfamiliarity, whether relating to human behaviour or geographical curiosity. Everything is a fish that comes into his net, yet he writes without any assumption of cultural superiority attaching to his status as a Greek.

Noises from Beneath

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).

John Bull Knows Best

A new biography of British liberal imperialist Thomas Macaulay, who made his mark on India as a young man, does not challenge the view that the liberalism he espoused was often only skin deep while the imperialism was all too real and damaging to those on the receiving end.

The Light from the East

A new book demonstrates the longlasting and deep engagment of various Irish scholars and practitioners with the religious and cultural traditions of eastern Asia.

A Tiny Space of Little Importance

As most of Ireland seethes at the individuals who prospered while the country pitched over into a financial sump, Justin Quinn has composed a novel that not only asks us to sympathise with one of those wealthy figures but actually to accept him as a tragic hero.

The Red and the Green

Ireland long had two parties competing for the favour of the Soviet Union. One was to remain tiny and irrelevant; the other found that its strategy of formulating ‘reformist demands in the mouth of a revolutionary party’ was not sustainable as reformism became for leading members not a pose but their real ideological home.

Beastly to the Hun

A new study of the origins of the First World War provides an engaging and skilful account but is perhaps a little too close to the perceptions of the victors and a little too ready to see only malice emanating from Berlin.


It is proper to retain some scepticism about the prevailing heroic narrative of the War of Independence, which was not without its unattractive features, but to claim that an armed campaign was unnecessary is to make an assertion for which there is little evidence.