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The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - BOOKS -

CALLTHEMBYTHEIRNAMES RE­BECCA SOL­NIT Granta, £12.99

Sol­nit should be read by any­one with an in­ter­est in where we find our­selves and what di­rec­tion we could be headed: “the re­volt against bru­tal­ity be­gins with a re­volt against the lan­guage that hides that bru­tal­ity”. Sol­nit holds a pre­cise pen, and any fixed po­si­tions a reader may have on, say, Hil­lary Clin­ton, are likely to shift un­der her nudg­ing. Some com­men­ta­tors jab a fin­ger in your shoul­der. Sol­nit takes you to one side with sense and sen­si­bil­ity. She never needs to raise her voice; there is lit­tle flash or fury in the writ­ing. The US is the ground on which these works stand but themes are uni­ver­sal – so­cial jus­tice, the en­vi­ron­ment, the big baby in­side the White House – and Sol­nit’s ref­er­ences are wide, from the 1916 Easter Ris­ing to Kenny Rogers. A clear brook of rea­son­ing in the opin­ion­ated del­uge of calumny that makes up many of our de­bates.

NJ McGARRIGLE

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