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Articles of Faith

Authors: Neil Berry

Published by Waywiser

ISBN: 9781904130321

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Neil Berry’s Articles of Faith is a selective study of British intellectual journals and their editors, among them the pioneering Edinburgh Review as edited by Francis Jeffrey at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the New Statesman as edited by Kingsley Martin during the middle of the twentieth century, and the London Review of Books as edited by Karl Miller in the 1980s.

The book argues that the ‘higher journalism’ did much to prepare the way for the civic-minded Britain that emerged after the Second World War and that its exponents were unofficial civil servants with a mission to enlighten society. In a postscript, Berry considers the embattled position of such journalism in today’s commercialised media culture, with its fixation on celebrities and gossip and its unremitting hostility to serious discussion.

This updated and expanded edition of Articles of Faith includes an afterword that discusses the furious controversy precipitated by the London Review of Books when, in 2006, it published a massive polemic by the political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt on the subject of America’s so-called ‘Israel Lobby’. Berry argues that the furore caused by this article re-affirmed the value of intellectual journalism, demonstrating that, on occasion, at least, it can still have a powerful impact on mainstream public debate.
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