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

The Long Conversation

Ronan Sheehan
We should neither heroise nor demonise the Romans, writes leading classicist Mary Beard, but we should take them seriously and not close down our long conversation with their legacy. But has that legacy been everywhere and always the same one?
Jan 5, 2016, 17:30 PM

A Necessary Correction

Frank Callanan
Arthur Griffith is the most misunderstood major figure of twentieth century Irish history. Garret FitzGerald, one of the few to give his views much attention, still characterised him quite wrongly as a “narrow nationalist”. A new and original biography makes amends.
Dec 6, 2015, 13:00 PM

Earth’s Old Bones

Brendan Lowe
John Keats championed the truth of imagination, while the naturalist Alexander Von Humboldt was the first to see nature as a unified organism. Moya Cannon invites both to tea. It’s an edgy business. She serves them in separate rooms and spends more time with Keats.
Dec 6, 2015, 12:42 PM

Post-Punk Polymath

John Fleming
It is no surprise that such an outstanding lyricist as Elvis Costello should be able to deliver such an engaging autobiography. And for a man who used to punch out an album with a free EP, plus a brace of singles with extra B-sides each year, it is no shock it should be so long.
Dec 6, 2015, 12:25 PM

From War To War

William Mulligan
The celebrated German historian Heinrich August Winkler argues that it was not only the First World War but also the global economic depression after 1929 that were the twin events leading to so much catastrophe and destruction in European history in the twentieth century.
Dec 6, 2015, 10:54 AM

Silent Witnesses

Fergus O’Donoghue
Bodies preserved in bogland, dating from the Iron Age or even before, are found right across northwestern Europe. It is difficult to know a great deal of their lives or beliefs or interpret their deaths, but what we do know is that their killers tried to obliterate them; and failed.
Dec 6, 2015, 10:50 AM

Down the Rabbit Hole

Alex Bramwell
A new collection of two works by the Russian-Irish novelist, poet and translator Anatoly Kudryavitsky features a writer who explores contemporary political themes but whose practice is grounded in the magical realist tradition which produced Mikhail Bulgakov.
Dec 6, 2015, 10:45 AM

The Risen People

Thomas Fitzgerald
The 1916 Rising can summon up more unanimity of feeling in the nation than many other events that occurred a few years before or after. Nevertheless, whatever our sympathy for the participants, we should be wary of considering it a well-planned military affair.
Dec 6, 2015, 10:40 AM

Getting the Left on Track

Michael McLoughlin
A new book that argues that the way forward for social democracy is more state, more tax, more spending fails to convince. If these were recipes likely to be favoured by the electorate there would be social democratic governments thriving all over the Western world.
Dec 6, 2015, 10:34 AM

Daddy’s Pal

Enda O’Doherty
A memoir can be an expansive story in which, regrettably, nothing is left out and which one would really prefer not to have to listen to. Or it can be a careful literary construction where much raw material has clearly been set aside and what remains is shaped by patient artifice.
Dec 6, 2015, 10:27 AM

Spiritual Security

Pádraig Murphy
To the extent that Russia’s project of joining the Western developed world has failed, and it has failed, its search for a distinctive world stance appears urgent; the paradigm of a united state and church, defined against a decadent, liberal and atheist West, is much favoured.
Dec 6, 2015, 09:58 AM

Wee Book, Big Muscles

Michael Hinds
Don Paterson should be recognised as a poet who offers us strenuousness and sweetness in a way that nobody has since John Donne; he kills his enemies and loves his friends, making us vibrantly aware of poetry’s capabilities as an affectionate medium.
Dec 6, 2015, 09:50 AM

A Cooling Cinder

Pauline Hall
A fictional portrait of Dublin in the years leading up to the Great War and 1916 is brimming with ideas and has a great deal of historical interest, even if its author’s ill-digested anger at his enemies and overschematic approach to characterisation may reduce the artistry.
Dec 6, 2015, 09:34 AM

Terror Without Mercy

Thomas McGrath
Huge numbers of people died in the Nazi concentration camps but they were not where the majority of Jews perished. Rather they were an instrument of the regime’s desire for total repression and control which changed and adapted to suit the particular needs of the time.
Dec 6, 2015, 09:27 AM

Boza Calling

Joseph Burke
Orhan Pamuk is a writer whose life and work are held aloft as emblematic of his country’s wishes and woes. In his new novel, Pamuk suggests that tradition in the public sphere need not be dangerous
Dec 6, 2015, 09:18 AM