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Encyclopedia > Paul Johnson (journalist)

Paul Johnson (born Paul Bede Johnson on November 2, 1928 in Manchester, England) is a British Roman Catholic historian, journalist, speechwriter and author. He was educated at Stonyhurst College, and Magdalen College, Oxford. Johnson first came to prominence in the 1950s as a journalist writing for, and later editing, the New Statesman magazine. A prolific writer, since the 1970s, he has written several books and contributed to several magazines, gaining a reputation as a foremost conservative popular historian. November 2 is the 306th day of the year (307th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 59 days remaining. ... 1928 (MCMXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Manchester is a major city in North West England, historically notable for being the worlds first industrialised city, and its subsequent central role in the Industrial Revolution. ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital London Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... Stonyhurst College is a Roman Catholic English Jesuit public school near Clitheroe, Lancashire, England. ... College name Magdalen College Named after Mary Magdalene Established 1458 Sister College Magdalene College President Professor David Clary FRS JCR President Iain Anstess Undergraduates 395 Graduates 230 Homepage Boatclub Magdalen College (pronounced ) is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. ... Oxford is a city and local government district in Oxfordshire, England, with a population of 134,248 (2001 census). ... The 1950s was the decade spanning the years 1950 to 1959. ... The New Statesman is a left-of-centre political weekly published in London. ...


Early life and career

At Stonyhurst, Johnson received an education grounded in the Jesuit method, which he preferred over the more secularized curriculum of Oxford. One of his tutors was the famous historian A.J.P. Taylor.[1] For others named John Taylor, see John Taylor. ...

After graduating with a lower-second class degree, Johnson performed his National service in the army, joining the King's Royal Rifle Corps and then the Education Corps where he was commissioned as a Captain (acting) based mainly in Gibraltar.[2] Here he saw the "grim misery and cruelty of the Franco regime" (Conviction, p. 206). National Service in the 20th century referred primarily to conscription for military service. ... The Kings Royal Rifle Corps was a British Army formation. ... In military organizations, an officer is a member of the service who holds a position of responsibility. ... This article concerns the rank and title of Captain. ...

In the early 1950s he worked on the staff of the Paris periodical Realités, where he was assistant editor (1952-55).

Johnson became a liberal during this period as he witnessed, in May 1952, the police response to a riot in Paris, the "ferocity [of which] I would not have believed had I not seen it with my own eyes." Subsequently, he also served as the New Statesman's Paris correspondent. For a time he was a convinced Bevanite and an associate of Aneurin Bevan himself. Moving back to London in 1955, he joined the Statesman's staff; he was leader writer, deputy editor and then editor from 1965 to 1970. In politics, left-wing, the political left or simply the left are terms that refer to the segment of the political spectrum typically associated with any of several strains of, to varying extents, socialism, green politics, anarchism, communism, social democracy, progressivism, American liberalism or social liberalism, and defined in contradistinction... 1952 (MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... The New Statesman is a left-of-centre political weekly published in London. ... Bevanism was the ideological argument for the Bevanites, a movement on the centre left of the Labour Party in the late 1950s and led by Nye Bevan. ... A statue of Bevan in Cardiff. ...

Statesmen And Nations (1971), the anthology of his Statesman articles, contains a curious split between numerous reviews of biographies of Conservative politicians and an openness to continental Europe; in one article Johnson even took a positive view of events of May 1968 in Paris, although remaining conscious of the problems of violence in periods of political change. According to this book, Johnson filed fifty-four overseas reports during his Statesman years. Alan Watkins, the political journalist and a former colleague at the Statesman, once claimed in a Guardian feature on Johnson that he is at heart a paternalist conservative who fitted in with the left for a time. A May 1968 poster: Be young and shut up, with the stereotypical silhouette of the General de Gaulle. ... British journalist Alan Watkins is a columnist who writes on politics and rugby. ... The Guardian is a British newspaper owned by the Guardian Media Group. ...

Recent decades

During the 1970s, Johnson evolved into a conservative, which he remains. In his Enemies of Society (1977), following a series of articles in the British press, he vehemently attacked the trade union movement over violence and intolerance, terming them "red fascists." He also at this time started to criticize liberal and left-wing causes. Despite the change in his politics, he continued to find a home at the Statesman into the late 'seventies. After Margaret Thatcher's victory in the general election of 1979 Johnson advised on changes to legislation concerning trade unions, and was also one of Mrs Thatcher's speechwriters. Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS (born 13 October 1925) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990. ... Margaret Thatcher James Callaghan David Steel The UK general election, 1979 was held on May 3, 1979 and is regarded as a pivotal point in 20th century British politics. ... Bold textJAMES CHECKLEY Legislation (or statutory law) is law which has been promulgated (or enacted) by a legislature or other governing body. ... A union (labor union in American English; trade union, sometimes trades union, in British English; either labour union or trade union in Canadian English) is a legal entity consisting of employees or workers having a common interest, such as all the assembly workers for one employer, or all the workers...

Johnson began a column for The Spectator in 1981; initially focusing on media developments, it subsequently acquired the title "And Another Thing", which varies in tone and content. The most characteristic quality of his journalism is the "thin end of the wedge" argument where the situation is always perceived as deteriorating.[3] [4] This article is about the British weekly magazine: there are articles on several other magazines called The Spectator such as Addison and Steeles influential literary magazine, The Spectator (1711), and the others can be found at The Spectator (disambiguation). ...

Johnson wrote a column for the Daily Mail until 2001. The Daily Mail is a British newspaper, a tabloid, first published in 1896. ...

In addition to his column in The Spectator, Johnson is a regular contributor to The Daily Telegraph, mainly as a book reviewer, and in the United States to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the National Review. For a time in the early 1980s he wrote for the The Sun. This article is about the British weekly magazine: there are articles on several other magazines called The Spectator such as Addison and Steeles influential literary magazine, The Spectator (1711), and the others can be found at The Spectator (disambiguation). ... This article concerns the British newspaper. ... The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ... The Wall Street Journal is an influential international daily newspaper published in New York City, New York with a worldwide average daily circulation of more than 2. ... National Review (NR) is a biweekly magazine of political opinion, founded by author William F. Buckley Jr. ... The Sun is a tabloid daily newspaper published in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland with the highest circulation of any daily English-language newspaper in the world, standing at 3,154,881 copies daily in early 2006 [1], (compared to USA Today, the best-selling US newspaper...

Johnson is a critic of modernity because of what he sees as its moral shortcomings.[5] and also finds those who use Charles Darwin's theory of evolution to justify their atheism or use it to promote risky biotechnological experimentation [6] objectionable. He agrees with the traditional Christian view of the Bible as containing the literal truth about the nature of the universe (including truths which can be evaluated scientifically). [citation needed] As a result of Johnson's views on evolution, the Darwinian scientist and noted atheist Richard Dawkins[7] has been a target of Johnson's pen in the past. As a conservative Catholic, he regarded Liberation theology as a heresy and defends Clerical celibacy, but sees women priests as inevitable.[8] It has been suggested that Modern Times (history) be merged into this article or section. ... Charles Robert Darwin FRS (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist who achieved lasting fame by producing considerable evidence that species originated through evolutionary change, at the same time proposing the scientific theory that natural selection is the mechanism by which such change occurs. ... A phylogenetic tree of all extant organisms, based on 16S rRNA gene sequence data, showing the evolutionary history of the three domains of life, bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes. ... For other uses, see Bible (disambiguation). ... For information about the band, see Atheist (band). ... Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is an eminent British ethologist, evolutionary theorist, and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. ... // Overview In essence, liberation theology explores the relationship between Christian theology (usually Roman Catholic) and political activism, particularly in areas of social justice, poverty, and human rights. ... Heresy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the Catholic or Orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by extension, to that of any church, creed, or religious system, considered as orthodox. ... Clerical celibacy is the practice of various religious traditions in which clergy, monastics and those in religious orders (female or male) adopt a celibate life, refraining from marriage and sexual relationships, including masturbation and impure thoughts (such as sexual visualisation and fantasies). ...

Admired by conservatives in the United States, he is strongly anti-communist[9]. Johnson has defended Richard Nixon[10] in the Watergate scandal, finding his cover-up considerably less heinous than Bill Clinton's perjury, and Oliver North in the Iran-Contra Affair. In his Spectator column he has defended convicted perjurer and friend Jonathan Aitken[11] and has expressed some admiration for General Franco and General Pinochet[12]. Johnson is a commited francophobe. Anti-communism is opposition to communist ideology, organization, or government, on either a theoretical or practical level. ... Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. ... The Watergate building. ... William Jefferson Bill Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946) was the 42nd President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. ... Perjury is the act of lying or making verifiably false statements on a material matter under oath or affirmation in a court of law or in any of various sworn statements in writing. ... Lt-Col. ... The Iran-Contra Affair (also called the Iran-Contra Matter and Iran-gate) was one of the largest political scandals in the United States during the 1980s. ... The Spectator is a British conservative political magazine, established 1828, published weekly. ... Jonathan William Patrick Aitken (born August 30, 1942) is a former Conservative Member of Parliament, British government minister and convicted perjurer. ... Generalísimo Francisco Franco, caudillo de España por la gracia de Dios Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco y Bahamonde Salgado Pardo de Andrade (December 4, 1892 - November 20, 1975), abbreviated Francisco Franco Bahamonde and sometimes known as Generalísimo Francisco Franco, was dictator of Spain from 1939 until... General Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte1 (born November 25, 1915) was head of the military government that ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

He served on the Royal Commission on the Press (1974-77) and later was a member of the Cable Authority (regulator) from 1984 to 1990.

Private life

Paul Johnson has been married to the psychotherapist and former Labour Party parliamentary candidate Marigold Hunt, since 1958. The marriage, by Johnson's own admission has been stormy; he once commented, before an affair of his became public knowledge, that his marriage could have broken up over a dozen times. Once reportedly a heavy drinker, he now limits his intake, and as a result, his wife is believed to have described him in the late 'nineties as "far less barmy than he used to be". [13][14] They have three sons and a daughter: the journalist Daniel Johnson, who worked until recently as an associate editor of The Daily Telegraph, before becoming a freelance writer in 2005; Luke Johnson, businessman and chairman of Channel 4 Television and Cosmo Johnson; and Sophie Johnson-Clark, who has worked as a television script editor and now resides in the USA. Paul Johnson has eight grandchildren. 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This is a disambiguation page, designed to help locate articles with similar names. ...


Johnson's books are listed by subject or type. The country of publication is the UK, unless stated otherwise.

Anthologies, polemics & contemporary history

  • 1957 Conviction MacGibbon & Kee (contribution: "A Sense of Outrage" pp202-17, with Brian Abel-Smith, Nigel Calder, Richard Hoggart, Mervyn Jones, Norman Mackenzie (ed), Peter Marris, Iris Murdoch Peter Shore, Hugh Thomas, Peter Townsend & Raymond Williams)
  • 1957 The Suez War MacGibbon & Kee
  • 1958 Journey Into Chaos MacGibbon & Kee [Western Policy in the Middle East]
  • 1971 Statesmen And Nations Sidgwick & Jackson [An anthology of New Statesman articles from the 1950s and 1960s. Often surprisingly mild in tone given Johnson's later development.]
  • 1977 Enemies of Society Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • 1980 The Recovery of Freedom (Mainstream Series) Basil Blackwell
  • 1981 The Best of Everything - Animals, Business, Drink, Travel, Food, Literature, Medicine, Playtime, Politics, Theatre, Young World, Art, Communications, Law and Crime, Films, Pop Culture, Sport, Women's Fashion, Men's Fashion, Music, Military (ed by William Davis) - contributor
  • 1985 The Pick of Paul Johnson Harrap
  • 1986 The Oxford Book Of Political Anecdotes (2nd ed 1991) Oxford University Press
  • 1988 Intellectuals Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • 1994 The Quotable Paul Johnson A Topical Compilation of His Wit, Wisdom and Satire (George J. Marlin, Richard P. Rabatin, Heather S. Richardson (Editors)) 1994 Noonday Press/1996 Atlantic Books(US)
  • 1994 Wake Up Britain - a Latter-day Pamphlet Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • 1996 To Hell with Picasso & Other Essays: Selected Pieces from “The Spectator” Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • 1998 The Body Politic New English Library


  • 1993 Gerald Laing : Portraits Thomas Gibson Fine Art Ltd (with Gerald Laing & David Mellor MP)
  • 1999 Julian Barrow's London Fine Art Society
  • 2003 Art: A New History Weidenfeld & Nicolson [15]


  • 1972 The Offshore Islanders: England's People from Roman Occupation to the Present/to European Entry [1985ed as History of the English People; 1998ed as Offshore Islanders: A History of the English People] Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • 1974 Elizabeth I: a Study in Power and Intellect Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • 1974 The Life and Times of Edward III Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • 1976 Civilizations of the Holy Land Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • 1977 Education of an Establishment in The World Of the Public School (pp13-28), edited by George MacDonald Fraser, Weidenfeld & Nicolson /St Martins Press (US edition)
  • 1978 The Civilization of Ancient Egypt Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • 1981 Ireland: A Concise History from the Twelfth Century to the Present Day [as ...Land of Troubles 1980 Eyre Methuen] Granada
  • 1984 Modern Times: A History of the World from the 1920s to the 1980s Weidenfeld & Nicolson [later, ...Present Time and ...Year 2000 2005 ed] Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • 1987 Gold Fields A Centenary Portrait Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • 1987 [2001ed] The History of the Jews Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • 1991 The Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830 Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • 1996 The Holocaust Phoenix [pages 482 to 517 of A History of the Jews]
  • 1997 A History of the American People Weidenfeld & Nicolson ISBN 0-06-093034-9 [16]
  • 2002 The Renaissance [: A Short History *] Weidenfeld & Nicolson/*Random House (USA)
  • 2002 Napoleon (Lives S.) Weidenfeld & Nicolson [2003 Phoenix pbk]
  • 2005 George Washington: The Founding Father (Eminent Lives Series) Atlas Books
  • 2006 Creators HarperCollins Publishers (USA) ISBN 0-06-019143-0


  • 2004 The Vanished Landscape: A 1930s Childhood in the Potteries Weidenfeld & Nicolson


  • 1959 Left of Centre MacGibbon & Kee ["Left Of Centre describes the meeting of a Complacent Young Man with an Angry Old City"]
  • 1964 Merrie England MacGibbon & Kee


  • 1975 Pope John XXIII Hutchinson
  • 1982 Pope John Paul II And The Catholic Restoration St Martins Press
  • 1996 The Quest for God: A Personal Pilgrimage Weidenfeld & Nicolson/HarperCollins (USA)
  • 1997 The Papacy Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Travel A History of Christianity is a historical study of the Christian Religion written by British journalist and author Paul Johnson. ...

  • 1973 The Highland Jaunt Collins (with George Gale)
  • 1974 A Place in History: Places & Buildings Of British History Omega [Thames TV (UK) tie-in]
  • 1978 National Trust Book of British Castles Granada Paperback [1992 Weidenfeld ed as Castles Of England, Scotland And Wales]
  • 1980 British Cathedrals Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • 1984 The Aerofilms Book of London from the Air Weidenfeld & Nicolson


  • Robin Blackburn "A Fabian at the End of His Tether" (New Statesman December 14, 1979, reprinted in Stephen Howe (ed) Lines of Dissent: Writings from the New Statesman 1913-88 1988, Verso pp284-96)
  • Christopher Booker The Seventies: Portrait of a Decade 1980 Allen Lane (chapters: "Paul Johnson: The Convert Who Went over the Top" pp238-44 and "Facing the Catastrophe" pp304-7)

External links

  • Philosophy Now paper The Uses and Abuses of Philosophical Biographies on Johnson's Intellectuals (1988)
  • Feud - and it's a scorcher! - article by John Walsh on Johnson's differences with The Guardian in The Independent July 28, 1997
  • New York Times Featured Author September 9, 2000: Paul Johnson
Preceded by:
John Freeman
Editor of the New Statesman
Succeeded by:
Richard Crossman

  Results from FactBites:
Paul Johnson (journalist) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1572 words)
Paul Johnson (born Paul Bede Johnson on November 2, 1928 in Manchester, England) is a British Roman Catholic historian, journalist, speechwiter and author.
Johnson became a liberal during this period as he witnessed, in May 1952, the police response to a riot in Paris, the "ferocity [of which] I would not have believed had I not seen it with my own eyes." Subsequently, he also served as the New Statesman's Paris correspondent.
Johnson is a critic of modernity because of what he sees as its moral shortcomings.
Paul Johnson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (134 words)
Paul Johnson (politician), former mayor of Phoenix, Arizona
Elder Paul V Johnson, a leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Paul Johnson (American football coach), the head football coach at the United States Naval Academy
  More results at FactBites »



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