"The drb sustains a level of commentary on Irish and international matters that no other journal in Ireland and few elsewhere can reach. It deserves all the support that can be given it." X
Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

That’s It, Folks

John Fanning
The last book from the late German sociologist Ulrich Beck offers a grim prognosis for our future as a society, with traditional political institutions helpless before the power of capital and the reactions of right and left devoid of intellectual content, functioning only to let off steam.
Dec 7, 2016, 15:00 PM

Webs of Meaning

Mary P Corcoran
We manage our existence largely by conferring meaning on the world around us. World views play a significant role in motivating humans to engage in purposeful actions and our beliefs and dispositions have a shaping role in the constitution of society, broadly defined.
Dec 7, 2016, 14:48 PM

There Shall Be Blood

Mary O’Doherty
Mentions of blood across the millennia are cited in a new medical history and the role of the microscope in the study of blood is recounted from the discovery of the lens itself through to early developments in its manufacture.
Dec 7, 2016, 14:45 PM

Bunker Days

Witness Seminar
In December 1985 a number of Irish civil servants bedded down in a bleak office-cum-living quarters in Belfast, their job to oversee the implementation of the Anglo-Irish Agreement. With protesters howling at the gates, they lived under siege, but gradually established good relations with many of their political and security partners.
Dec 7, 2016, 14:32 PM

Making the Jump

Frank Barry
A ‘hard Brexit’ will undoubtedly create grave difficulties for Irish-owned businesses and ‘tariff-jumping’ foreign direct investment will come to seem an obvious response. Irish firms will establish operations in the UK, as Jacob’s, Guinness and Carroll’s have done in the past.
Dec 7, 2016, 14:28 PM

Beyond the Failure Narrative

Philip O’Connor
A version of independent Ireland’s economic history which ignores the unfavourable starting point and then goes on to compare our performance with states whose circumstances were clearly different is more in the nature of a myth than a balanced historical account.
Dec 7, 2016, 11:57 AM

It Looks Like You’re Writing a Novel

Tim Groenland
Home computing and word processing are now so taken for granted that it’s hard to recreate how big a deal their first appearance was. One writer compared the cost of his device to his daughter’s school fees. Another had to have the machine lifted into his house by a crane.
Dec 7, 2016, 11:51 AM

Ministering to All

Thomas FitzGerald

Families and generations were often divided over the wisdom of making war on the British. One west Cork IRA man recalled his patriotic parents saying “in the name of God, are you mad taking on the British Empire?”. Like the people the priests were also divided, although their difficulties eased somewhat with the arrival of the unambiguously invasive Black and Tans.

Dec 7, 2016, 11:41 AM

Spring Forward, Fall Back

Padraig McAuliffe
The optimism that attended the ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011, and the inflated hopes invested in youth and social networks, have fallen away, replaced by a realisation that autocratic forces, particularly if they can buy military support, still have a future ahead of them.
Dec 7, 2016, 11:17 AM

Birds of a Feather

Bryce Evans
At one formal dinner Ezra Pound became so bored he ate the floral decoration. At a restaurant meal with Robert Frost, he decided to show his fellow poet ju-jitsu, grabbing his wrist and throwing him over his head. No wonder he was starting to get on Yeats’s nerves.
Dec 7, 2016, 11:12 AM

Fictions of Otherness

Peter Sirr
Poets are of course free to do what they want. But a translation which requires the disappearance of the original poet, where we can never be sure which bits are invented, starts to feel like the kind of colonial gesture only a dominant language could sanction.
Dec 7, 2016, 11:06 AM

Striking Out

Afric McGlinchey
A new publication features an invaluable survey of the landscape of Irish experimental poetry, a vibrant tradition, if one that departs from the general set of expectations we tend to have of our poetic traditions.
Dec 7, 2016, 10:46 AM

Too Long A Sacrifice

Fergus O’Ferrall
French Catholic intellectual influences were very evident in Catholic middle class culture in early twentieth century Ireland and were openly embraced in Joseph Mary Plunkett’s The Irish Review, a journal which promoted ‘a particularly religiose form of nationalism’.
Dec 7, 2016, 10:38 AM

The Virtual Republic

Gerald Dawe
John Hewitt was uncomfortable with the Northern state and frustrated by his inability to make contact with ‘his own people’. His verse is inflected with a growing consciousness of the damage done by the political exploitation of division and by a nostalgia for a different past.
Dec 7, 2016, 10:33 AM