I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Pádraig Murphy

The Errand-Boys of Europe

There is a strong current of thought in Russia which wishes to see the country assert its complete independence from the West and ‘Western values’ and follow its own path as a great Eurasian power. Yet others believe engagement is still possible. What has not been helpful is a US disregard for Russian interests and susceptibilities which has been seen as amounting to an ‘empathy deficit disorder’.

Neighbours

Germany and Russia have had a relationship over the centuries that has more often been businesslike than hostile. The business being conducted, however, and the deals that have been struck, have seldom much benefited the countries in between.

A Tearless People

The year is 1937 and the place Moscow, one of the key settings in European history and a fault line in the history of civilisation.

When The Roof Fell In

One can say that Gorbachev was not up to the task before him, if only because he did not fully understand it. But, it has to be added, nobody else did either. The Soviet Union had become a sclerotic case where any reform would have threatened the whole structure, because it came too late. Gorbachev was the man who tried to remove a brick from a tumbledown building in order to rebuild it better, only for the whole construction to come down around him.

Neutrality by Ordeal

It was this man [Edmund Veesenmayer, an agent of the German foreign service] that Kerney met in Madrid in August 1942, without instruction, but probably arising from his role in the freeing of Frank Ryan. Kerney was clearly aware that he was supping with the devil ‑ he says he was “in the somewhat delicate position of talking to a gentleman who, if I had looked under the table, might have been capable of disclosing something in the nature of a cloven hoof”.