Today with Sean O'Rourke

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    George Mitchell - The Negotiator

    On these shores my next guest is best known as primary architect of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland but in his time he has also served as an army officer, a lawyer, a state and federal prosecutor, a federal judge, as well as being the majority leader of the US Senate, and special envoy for Middle East peace.

    Couple this with influential roles within Disney, Major League Baseball and the Olympic movement and George Mitchell’s newly-published memoir The Negotiator makes for a fascinating insight into life as a problem-solver. He joined Keelin this morning.

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    Book: A City in Civil War

    The buildings and streets of our capital city bear many of the scars of the foundation of the state.  Historian Pádraig Yeates took it upon himself to look at life in the city as lived by its citizens against the backdrop of what can only be described as tumultuous events.  

    He divided his work into three sections, the first dealing with the First World War, the second with the War of Independence and now he has completed his task with the publication of his third volume - A City in Civil War: Dublin 1921-4. It has just been published by Gill & Macmillan and Pádraig joined Keelin in studio.

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    Book: The Long Hot Summer

    Kathleen MacMahon's debut novel, This is How it Ends, caused a sensation when it was sold at London Book Fair for a phenomenal €684,000. The book was sold as part of a two-book deal and three years later she is back with the second installment, The Long Hot Summer. And Kathleen MacMahon joined Keelin this morning. 

     

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    Fighting Words

    He may be known for his prizewinning novels but when he's not writing Roddy Doyle is busy helping students find their own writing voice in his Fighting Words project.

    One group of students have just published a book of their short stories, which they wrote over the course of their transition year and Edel Coffey went along to the book launch last Monday night and she joined Sean in studio.

    Visit their website here.

    it’s not just for school children, they do adult workshops too so if you want more information the best place to start with is their website or you can call them on (01) 8944576. And if you’d like to volunteer with them you can get in touch the same way.

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    The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq

    In 2003 my next guest was working for the British Council in Manchester. She answered a call looking for volunteers to help in the administration of Iraq after the war was over.  She travelled out of RAF Brize Norton to Basra with – as she subsequently told the Chilcott Inquiry – on briefing written or otherwise.  And she went on to effectively administer the contested city of Kirkuk.  That was just part of three extended stays in the country all of which are detailed in her book The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq.  It is she says “an Iraqi story. It is an American story. It is my story” And Emma Sky joined Sean this morning.

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    The Great Divide

    Inequality is an increasing problem in the Western world, leaving everyone – the rich as well as the poor – worse off. The dream of a socially mobile society is becoming an ever more unachievable myth. That’s the view of Joseph Stiglitz winner of the Nobel Prize for economics in 2001 and professor of economics at Columbia University. He has published a new book “The Great Divide” which deals specifically with this problem. He joined Sean on the line from London.

    The Great Divide by Joseph Stiglitz is available in bookshops now and is published by Allen Lane.

    Read More: Joseph Stiglitz: Thomas Piketty gets income inequality wrong, Lynn Stuart Parramore, Salon.com, 2nd Jan 2015

    Read More: Capitalism needs new rules to restore the growth and stability of postwar era, Joseph Stiglitz, The Guardian, 2nd Sept 2015

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    Book: Work Rules!

    Google has been named the ‘Best Company to Work for’ five times in the US as well as topping the same charts in countries like Australia, Canada, France, the UK and of course here in Ireland.  So who better to tell us the secret of their success at creating a happy work place than their Senior Vice President of People Operations? Laszlo Bock has written what may become a textbook for future Human Resource students and it is called Work Rules!:

    Insights from inside Google that will transform how you live and lead.  And Laszlo Bock joined Sean from a BBC studio.

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    Guantanamo Diary

    It was 2002 when Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Mauritian who had trained alongside al-Qaida, was first detained in Guantanamo Bay.

    Nearly thirteen years later he remains in his cell, despite having never been prosecuted or had a charge laid against him.

    His diary, hand-written on over 400 pages during his imprisonment, has been turned into the recently released book, Guantanamo Diary which gives a rare insight into the word’s most notorious prison.

    The book was published with the help of his lawyer, Nancy Hollander, who is in Ireland to speak at the International Literature Festival Dublin this evening, and she joins me in the studio.

    Nancy Hollander, US criminal defence lawyer, will speak about the book Guantanamo Diary at the International Literature Festival Dublin this evening, 6pm at the O’Reilly Theatre.

    Read More: Torture – an intimate history: Guantánamo Diary, by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, Lawrence Douglas, Irish Times, 21st Feb 2015

    Read More: Republicans offer Obama path to close Guantanamo before leaving office, Jacqueline Klimas, Washington Times, 14th May 2015

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    Novel: Tanglewood

    Dermot Bolger is an author, playwright and poet inextricably linked with Dublin. From his plays set in and performed in Ballymun to his adaptation of Ulysses, he is an author inextricably connected with his home town of Dublin. He has just published his new novel Tanglewood and he joined Sean in in studio.

    Read More: Tanglewood by Dermot Bolger review: an outstanding piece of work, Eilis Ní Dhuibhne, Irish Times, 16th May 2015

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    Books Round Up

    Two authors who need no introduction – bestselling writers Cathy Kelly and John Connolly – were in studio to give us their recommendations for the best books to read this month.

    What Becomes of Us by Henrietta McKervey – Set in RTÉ in 1965 about Irish woman who returns to Ireland from UK with daughter and her own secrets, who is researching a documentary for 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising and finds more secrets...

    See all  of Cathy and John's recommendations here

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