Jonathan O’Brien

Jonathan O’Brien

How the US shaped the Middle East to its liking

How the US shaped the Middle East to its liking

Israel and the Clash of Civilisations. By Jonathan Cook, Pluto Press, €22.20

TV review: Plenty of food for thought in Dragons’ Den

TV review: Plenty of food for thought in Dragons’ Den

{ "#" : "The tone of (BBC1) is set right from the off. Huge stacks of sterling banknotes, hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of them, sit on an equally huge oak table, right in the middle of the set, as crassly as if the room’s very wallpaper wer

TV review: Pimping the Olympians

TV review: Pimping the Olympians

{ "#" : "The summer TV schedules are never much fun in the normal run of things. This year’s have been rendered even more of an ordeal by the (RTE 1/2 and BBC 1), hovering over everything like a giant octopus, at the expense of . . .well, all the dro

TV review: The genius of natural selection

TV review: The genius of natural selection

{ "#" : "(Channel 4) was bookended by Professor Richard Dawkins giving two talks to the same group of schoolchildren." , "b" : "The Genius of Charles Darwin"}

TV review: The salute that rocked sport and ruined lives

TV review: The salute that rocked sport and ruined lives

No other sporting event could use it more, but the chances of seeing any overtly political gesture of protest or dissent at next month’s Beijing Olympics are roughly the same as the odds of Ireland’s athletes arriving home with anything other than so

‘Lord Cashpoint’ exacts his revenge

‘Lord Cashpoint’ exacts his revenge

A Question of Honour. By Lord Michael Levy, Simon & Schuster, €22.20

Eleven years of searing Fisk rectitude

Eleven years of searing Fisk rectitude

The Age of the Warrior. By Robert Fisk, 4th Estate, €17

TV review: Raking over old stories, but with little new to say

TV review: Raking over old stories, but with little new to say

You find the weirdest things on the internet. A few weeks ago, for reasons known only to himself, a friend logged onto YouTube in search of some ancient footage of Elton John breaking down in tears during the singing of Abide With Me at the 1984 FA C

Arresting analysis of open market mobsters

Arresting analysis of open market mobsters

McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld. By Misha Glenny, Bodley Head, €15

Putin’s shadowy world in dizzying detail

Putin’s shadowy world in dizzying detail

The Age of Assassins. By Yuri Felshtinsky and Vladimir Pribylovsky, Gibson Square, €12.20

TV review: How the rich get richer

TV review: How the rich get richer

Unless you’re an expert on the subject, it is sometimes difficult to comprehend fully the fine print of some of the financial stories published by the media each week. So it was relatively refreshing to view a programme that deployed plain English to

Snoop Dogg: Ego Trippin’ (Universal)

Snoop Dogg: Ego Trippin’ (Universal)

A full 15 years have passed since Snoop Dogg first came along as a cartoonish tabloid hate figure, trailing death threats and murder charges behind him.

TV review: Hard times in a bleak Irish climate

TV review: Hard times in a bleak Irish climate

As recently as 1995, Steve Bell, the Guardian’s political cartoonist, mercilessly described Ireland as ‘‘that priest-ridden hell-hole’’ in an interview with Andrew Mueller of Melody Maker. Those days are gone, for the time being at least, but not for

Chechen war at its most brutal

Chechen war at its most brutal

The Angel Of Grozny. By Åsne Seierstad, Virago, €18

TV review: No happy ending for Nepal fairytale

TV review: No happy ending for Nepal fairytale

The backstory of Cathal Ó Searcaigh’s ill-fated voyage to Nepal with filmmaker Neasa Ní Chianáin has been comprehensively documented for the past few weeks, as have the debates about his motives, the support he has received from his friends in Aosdán