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

Steadfast Comrade

Brian Kenny
A loyal Moscow communist Sean Murray set up the Communist Party of Ireland in the early 1930s. Years of meetings, discussions and disputes followed. Murray's life was devoted to the cause but did all that work amount to a hill of beans?
Aug 31, 2015, 11:33 AM
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Staying Grounded

Ronan Sheehan
A beautifully written memoir tells the life story of an Irish woman who knew most of the major figures of the bohemian Dublin of the mid-twentieth century, as well as many of the politicians, and who went on to carve out a successful career for herself in the travel business.
Aug 31, 2015, 11:10 AM
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Out Of Their Feeling

Mary O’Donnell
A sparkling novel which traces the voyage of a number of young women transported to Australia to work in and help populate the ‘new land’ suggests that people can sometimes have surprising powers of adaptation, but also that they may need to forget their past.
Aug 31, 2015, 11:07 AM
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Red Star Over China

Caroline Hurley
Mao Zedong’s vision in the late 1940s was to replicate Soviet communism, whatever the cost for his people. The espousal of values of freedom and equality offered hope to war-weary citizens, but the new regime ran an intensely invasive and catastrophic tyranny from the start.
Aug 31, 2015, 11:01 AM
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Tales from the Margin

Susan Knight
Phyl Herbert writes in a clear, fluent style. Her stories are delicately constructed miniatures, tender glimpses into her often flawed characters as they make the best of their way through life.
Aug 31, 2015, 10:53 AM
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Mean Streets

Gerard Lee
Lisa McInerney’s first novel can be tender but it is no romance, turning us down some grotty alleyways to where her real story lurks, dragging a spliff to the lip-burn and scrunching the last dregs from a can.
Aug 31, 2015, 10:47 AM
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Lost Connections

Maurice Earls
Most groups wrongfooted by the advent of Irish independence in the 1920s have since made their peace with it: the state’s Protestant minority, Trinity College, even diehard republicans. But the Jesuit order, it seems, is still dragging its feet and hankering after what has been lost.
Aug 30, 2015, 12:54 PM
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It’s That Man Again

Eoghan Smith
Banville’s heroes are by now familiar to us. Remote, middle-aged elitist types, tortured by the burden of existence and the shadow of death, they may not be hugely wealthy but are never poor. Often they are on the margins of a declining gentry that exudes old-world mystique.
Aug 30, 2015, 12:42 PM
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A Massacre of Art?

Catherine Marshall
A stimulating new study, focusing on one painting and its contemporary critical reception, illuminates the French painter Eugène Delacroix, a man who, ‘reactionary in his ideas, romantic in his talent’, was, according to Victor Hugo, in contradiction with his own works.
Aug 30, 2015, 12:31 PM
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A Catastrophe Not Foreseen

Pádraig Murphy
Russia’s handling of its client Serbia in the run-up to the First World War was an object lesson in how not to do it. While it is a mistake to assign exclusive culpability for the outbreak of the war to any single state actor, equally none can be absolved of responsibility.
Aug 30, 2015, 12:12 PM
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Representing Disaster

Patrick J Murray
Responding to traumatic events remains one of art’s most problematic undertakings. Horrific events are often beyond articulation and this sense of inadequacy is enhanced when the creative work, with its overtones of pleasure and even whimsy, enters the fray.
Aug 30, 2015, 12:04 PM
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Friends At War

John Mulqueen
The Irish Civil War has often been presented as a conflict in which ‘the men of no property’ challenged those with a stake in the country for dominance. But this analysis ignores the plentiful support there was for the Free State government among the very poorest classes.
Aug 30, 2015, 11:50 AM
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Old Europe, Aging America

Joe Cleary
Two recent works of literary theory sketch a robust structural account of the literary world system centred on London and Paris. But one might ask if this system can be better historicised and whether there are ways to conceive of its operational logics less rigidly.
Aug 30, 2015, 11:45 AM
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The Disappearing Priest

Eamon Maher
Seminarians were traditionally taught to view the body with suspicion, as a source of temptation and sin. By embracing celibacy, many priests believed they were distinguishing themselves from ordinary men and women, that they were in some way superior to them.
Aug 30, 2015, 11:13 AM
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Bands of Brothers

Marc Mulholland
The Third International, or Comintern, maintained for many years a vast international organisation none of its left-wing rivals could match. When the purges came in the 1930s, however, its members suffered to a proportionately greater extent than any other category.
Aug 30, 2015, 10:58 AM
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