Book Reviews

Weekend Reviews — Detroit

Weekend Reviews — Detroit

Fifty years on from the riots that rocked Detroit in 1967, director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) brings alive one of its most infamous and disputed incidents in an intense and powerful cinematic polemic against racial injustice. We see enough of the rioting to place the film in at least some context, […]

Weekend Books — The Tartan Turban

Weekend Books — The Tartan Turban

Tartan is back in In The Tartan Turban John Keay seeks to rehabilitate the reputation of 19th century adventurer Alexander Gardner, a Scots-American who committed feats of travel far ahead of his time, traversing as he did “remotest Kafiristan” and Bam-i-Dunya, the Roof of the World – to the disbelief of his detractors. From a […]

Weekend Books – Lindell’s List

Weekend Books – Lindell’s List

The title of this book refers to an incident in April 1945. In response to the denial by SS Guards that there were any Anglo-American prisoners being held at Ravensbrück concentration camp, Mary Lindell, the subject of what might be loosely termed a biography, bravely stepped forward and produced a list of names for the […]

Weekend Books — Classic text blighted by Chinese whispers

Weekend Books — Classic text blighted by Chinese whispers

The Ruler’s Guide by Chinghua Tang In 626CE Li Shimin murdered his brothers and forced his father to abdicate the throne of China’s nascent Tang dynasty, ushering in the country’s golden age and becoming Emperor Tang Taizong, the greatest of China’s Sons of Heaven. Dialogues between Taizong and his ministers were recorded in the Zhenguan […]

Weekend Books – Europe’s last frontier

Weekend Books – Europe’s last frontier

Border by Kapka Kassabova This is a magical book and one of the very, very few to open up the wild and forgotten lands of ancient Thrace that straddle that corner of Europe where Turkey meets Bulgaria and Greece. The region is one of Europe’s last great wildernesses and for centuries has seen great population […]

Weekend Books — Second-Hand Time

Weekend Books — Second-Hand Time

Anyone who wants to understand modern Russia and the collective sense of humiliation felt by the Russian people should read this powerful collection of interviews, mainly with Sovoks, those Russians brought up in the Soviet era and who lived through the transition of the crumbling one-party state into an autocratic kleptocracy. Svetlana Alexievich has raised […]

Weekend Books — Ike’s Irish Lover

Weekend Books — Ike’s Irish Lover

Barrister Kieron Wood has turned what might have been a footnote of history into a highly readable account of the long-running affair between the Allied commander General Dwight D Eisenhower and his West Cork-born chauffeuse Kay Summersby (née MacCarthy-Morrogh). It may seem frivolous and distracting for the USA’s most senior general, universally known as ‘Ike’, […]

Review: Striking Out (RTÉ One)

Review: Striking Out (RTÉ One)

Striking Out, Ireland’s first home-grown legal TV drama in years, premiered on RTÉ One on Sunday 1 January 2017 – so you’d be forgiven for missing it amid the New Year festivities. The new show sees talented Amy Huberman star as Dublin solicitor Tara Rafferty, who is left shell-shocked after discovering her colleague and fiancé, […]

Weekend Books — The Supreme Court

Weekend Books — The Supreme Court

Ruadhán Mac Cormaic’s book reads with such ease that you tend to forget that you’re reading an extensively researched chronicle of the cases that have shaped Ireland. Each chapter serves to educate and entertain the reader with insightful accounts of the social and political influences surrounding each case, and indeed each judicial appointment to the […]

Weekend Books — Irish Politics in Postcards

Weekend Books — Irish Politics in Postcards

Declan Martin’s Irish Politics in Postcards is both a fantastic read, and an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Irish history. The (mostly) unbiased commentary throughout each chapter of Irish political history unravels the intricacies of each illustration in a manner that is accessible, educational, and often entertaining. Suitably, in this year of the centenary, […]