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

    People Power

    John Swift
    Does political democracy have a value in the absence of economic democracy? Should social distinctions be maintained? Ancient Athens largely practised a mixed system, with a modus vivendi between the classes that posed little threat to wealth and kept most public offices for the elite.
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    History from Hell

    Tom Hennigan
    The popular cultures of many European societies remain transfixed by the evil of Nazism while looking away from the record of their own ancestors. Yet the rise to global prominence of Portugal, Britain, Spain, France and the Netherlands rested largely on the horrific Caribbean slave trade.
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    A Beautiful Human Being

    Patrick Quigley
    When Poland was invaded in September 1939, the painter Jósef Czapski joined the cavalry reserve. Captured by the Russians, he escaped the fate of the officers murdered at Katyń and survived the camps, diverting his fellow prisoners with lectures on Proust reconstructed from his own memory.
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    What Was Lost

    Jim Smyth
    ‘Declinist’ accounts of English history are not always consistent, but the outlines are clear: a once ‘organic’ community succumbed to commerce, scientific rationalism and, most corrosively, industrialisation. A vital common culture gave way to a cheapened mass society.
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    Time’s Factory

    Fintan Calpin
    Ali Smith’s novels have always been interested in deviant temporalities and ‘unexpected afterlives’. Her narratives are never singular or isolated, but a gathering of threads and she has also pushed at the formal boundaries between the novel and the essay.
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    The SS’s Bargaining Chips

    David Blake Knox
    The SS’s Bargaining Chips
    As World War Two drew to an end, a number of prominent prisoners of the Germans were moved to South Tyrol in the Italian Alps. Among them were veterans of the Great Escape, two former European prime ministers and a handful of Irishmen who had served in the British army.
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    Peace to end Peace

    Angus Mitchell
    In making the case that war is simply humanity’s natural lot, other causes of conflict, such as secret diplomacy, the arms trade, inequality, censorship to protect national security and industrial capitalism’s wish to profit from misery, perhaps get off rather lightly.
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    Betrayal

    John Mulqueen
    We should be sceptical when great powers tell us a region is riven by age-old, unresolvable conflicts and hatreds. This was the kind of mystification that in 1938 supplied Britain and France with an excuse to abandon their ally Czechoslovakia, a European democracy, to Hitler.
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    Lotharingia: Europe’s Lost Country, Simon Winder

    Pity the poor continental children who must grapple with Charles the Bald, Charles the Bold, Charles the Fat, Charles the Simple, Philip the Bold, Philip the Fair and a good dozen of Henrys. To all of this complexity, Winder is a perpetually good-humoured guide.
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    Believe in the Movement

    Marc Mulholland
    Believe in the Movement
    The young Eric Hobsbawm was intoxicated by the ‘stern discipline’ the revolutionary organisation demanded of its adherents. ‘Ground yourself in Leninism,’ he admonished himself in his diary. The communist militant had to be ‘totally unscrupulous and outrageously flexible’.
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