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.

Seán OHuiginn

Educating Margaret

How Margaret Thatcher was persuaded to sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement

Goodbye Schweinhund, Hallo Nachbar?

A number of recently published books give hope that the ‘fog of war’ which has blanketed the modern British view of Germany is beginning to lift, allowing a view of the nation in the perspective of its entire history and not just the disastrous twelve-year episode of the Third Reich.

Getting By

Jacques Rivière claimed that great writers could not be great moral characters, because their necessarily self-centred natures made them poorly equipped for devotion and sacrifice, and since they had to distance themselves from their feelings in order to see them, these were never as genuine as with other people. Jean Guéhenno, a writer free of any taint of collaboration, wrote in his diary in 1940: “The species of the man of letters is not one of the greatest human species. Incapable of surviving for long in hiding, he would sell his soul to see his name in print.”

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

The kaiser was a pioneer in the notion of using Turkey as a bridge between Europe and the Islamic world. The events chronicled in this book are not particularly encouraging, being more consistent with Dr Ian Paisley’s insight that the trouble with a bridge was that it went over to the other side.