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

    The Limits of Empathy

    Henry Patterson
    A historian specialising in political violence argues that understanding terrorism requires empathetic analysis. But scepticism over the claims of the creators of victims to be ‘working for peace’ need not derive from a desire for vengeance: it could as easily signal a respect for truth.
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    Life Without the Neighbours

    Daniel Keohane
    Brexit is potentially a triple existential challenge for Ireland: for the peace process, for UK-Ireland relations and for our EU membership. This combination of factors might help explain why the other EU governments have not ‘thrown Ireland under a bus’ despite all the noise at Westminster.
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    The Polariser

    Frank Callanan, Niall Meehan, Philip O’Connor
    He was the most important Irish intellectual of the twentieth century, though he got many things wrong, some of them in the pursuit of consistency. Or he was a renegade who went back on every progressive view he had championed in his earlier life. Two views of Conor Cruise O’Brien heard at a recent debate.
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    That Damnable Invention

    James McNaney
    The British feel a certain detachment from the North, born of distance. At worst this is antipathy: Diarmaid Ferriter cites Thatcher’s famous disdain for both sides. Even when Conservatives attempt a revival of the old ‘conservative and unionist’ tradition, it comes across as a bit clunky.
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    Protestant and Irish

    John Horgan, Robbie Roulston, Niall Meehan
    Protestant and Irish
    Three historians discuss issues raised by a new anthology outlining the varieties of Protestant experience in independent Ireland. Topics touched upon include religious segregation in education, privileged access to employment, and its disappearance, and national feeling.
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    A Little More Than Religion

    Mary Jones
    Catholic and Protestant are routinely employed in Northern Ireland as labels denoting ethno-nationalist divisions which date back centuries. But the divisions have little enough to do with theology, deriving more from distinct relations to land, power and political legitimacy.
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    What’s Hecuba to Him?

    John Wilson Foster
    In his polemic on Brexit, Fintan O’Toole offers a biographical caricature of a political decision as a man ‑ a white man, a middle-aged or elderly man, an angry man, a racist man, finally a straw man. What lies behind the anger and scorn? Could it be a fear of losing something?
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    In A Hard School

    Susan McKay
    Emilie Pine’s father had what she has called ‘an unusual approach to parenting’, consisting of neglect of his duties in favour of the pursuit of his first love, alcohol. Pine survived this upbringing and has now written a wonderful, compassionate book about her and her family’s life and travails.
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    The Master and his Men

    Barra Ó Seaghdha
    Conor Cruise O’Brien went off the rails towards the end of his career, adopting increasingly bizarre positions on Northern Ireland and uncritically supporting Israel. Few of his admirers followed him in these courses, yet for old times’ sake perhaps, they were reluctant to criticise their leader.
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    Before The Fall

    Andy Pollak
    In 1945 a new housing authority in Northern Ireland set itself the target of building 30,000 houses over ten years, houses that would be allocated on the basis of need, not religious affiliation. In Belfast, some religiously integrated estates lasted, and thrived, until the start of the Troubles.
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