Claud Cockburn

Francis Claud Cockburn (/ˈkoʊbərn/ KOH-bərn; 12 April 1904 – 15 December 1981) was a British journalist. His saying "believe nothing until it has been officially denied" is widely quoted in journalistic studies,[1][2][3] although he did not claim credit for originating it.[4] He was the second cousin, once removed, of novelists Alec Waugh and Evelyn Waugh. He lived at Brook Lodge, Youghal, County Cork, Ireland.[5]

Claud Cockburn
Claud Cockburn (left).
Claud Cockburn (left in picture)
Born
Francis Claud Cockburn

12 April 1904
Died15 December 1981 (aged 77)
OccupationJournalist
Spouse(s)Hope Hale Davis
Jean Ross
Patricia Cockburn
ChildrenClaudia Cockburn
Sarah Caudwell
Alexander Cockburn
Andrew Cockburn
Patrick Cockburn
Parent(s)Henry Cockburn,
Elizabeth Stevenson
Relativesgranddaughters:
Laura Flanders
Stephanie Flanders
Olivia Wilde

Life and work

Cockburn was born in Peking (present-day Beijing), China, on 12 April 1904, the son of Henry Cockburn, a British Consul General, and wife Elizabeth Gordon (née Stevenson). His paternal great-grandfather was Scottish judge/biographer Henry Cockburn, Lord Cockburn.[6] Cockburn was educated at Berkhamsted School, Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, and Keble College, Oxford, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts. At Oxford he was part of the Hypocrites' Club.[7]

Career in journalism

He became a journalist with The Times and worked as a foreign correspondent in Germany and the United States before resigning in 1933 to start his own newsletter, The Week. It has been claimed that during his spell as a sub-editor on The Times, Cockburn and colleagues competed (with a small prize for the winner) to write the dullest printed headline. Cockburn only once claimed[8] the honours, with "Small Earthquake in Chile, Not many dead". No copy of The Times featuring this headline has been located although it did finally appear, decades after the recollection, in Not the Times, a spoof version of the newspaper produced by several journalists at The Times in 1979 during the paper's year-long absence due to an industrial dispute.[9]

The Spanish Civil War

Under the name Frank Pitcairn, Cockburn contributed to the British communist newspaper, the Daily Worker. In 1936, Harry Pollitt, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain, asked him to cover the Spanish Civil War. He joined the Fifth Regiment to report the war as a soldier. While in Spain, he published Reporter in Spain.

Cockburn was attacked by George Orwell in Homage to Catalonia (1938). Orwell accused Cockburn of being under the control of the Communist Party and was critical of the way Cockburn reported the Barcelona May Days. According to the editor of a volume of his writings on Spain, Cockburn formed a personal relationship with Mikhail Koltsov, "then the foreign editor of Pravda and, in Cockburn's view, 'the confidant and mouthpiece and direct agent of Stalin in Spain'."

According to writer Adam Hochschild, Cockburn claimed to have been an eyewitness to a battle he'd actually invented out of whole cloth. This hoax was intended to persuade the French prime minister that Franco's forces were weaker than they actually were, and thus make the Republicans seem worthier candidates for help in obtaining arms. The ruse worked, and the French border was opened for a previously stalled artillery shipment. Cockburn acted as fabulist for the Republican cause, Hochschild writes, "on [Communist] Party orders".[10]

Opposition to Appeasement

In the late 1930s, Cockburn published a private newspaper The Week that was highly critical of Neville Chamberlain.[11] Cockburn maintained in the 1960s that much of the information in The Week was leaked to him by Sir Robert Vansittart, the Permanent Under-Secretary of the Foreign Office.[11]

At the same time, Cockburn claimed that MI5 was spying on him because of The Week; but the British historian D.C. Watt argued that it was more likely that, if anyone was spying on Cockburn, it was the Special Branch of Scotland Yard who were less experienced in this work than MI5.[11] Cockburn was an opponent of appeasement before the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. In a 1937 article in The Week, Cockburn coined the term Cliveden set to describe what he alleged to be an upper-class pro-German group that exercised influence behind the scenes. The Week ceased publication shortly after the war began.

Watt alleges that the information printed in The Week included rumours, some of which suited Moscow's interests.[12] Watt used as an example the claim The Week made in February–March 1939 that German troops were concentrating in Klagenfurt for an invasion of Yugoslavia, which Watt says had no basis in reality.[12]

After the Second World War

In 1947, Cockburn moved to Ireland and lived at Ardmore, County Waterford, and continued to contribute to newspapers and journals, including a weekly column for The Irish Times. In the Irish Times he famously stated that "Wherever there is a stink in international affairs, you will find that Henry Kissinger has recently visited".

Among his novels were Beat the Devil (originally under the pseudonym James Helvick), The Horses, Ballantyne's Folly,[13] and Jericho Road. Beat the Devil was made into a 1953 film by director John Huston, who paid Cockburn £3,000 for the rights to the book and screenplay. Cockburn collaborated with Huston on the early drafts of the script, but the credit went to Truman Capote.[14] The title was later used by Cockburn's son Alexander for his regular column in The Nation.

He published Bestseller, an exploration of English popular fiction, Aspects of English History (1957), The Devil's Decade (1973), his history of the 1930s, and Union Power (1976).

His first volume of memoirs was published as In Time of Trouble (1956) in the UK and as A Discord of Trumpets in the U.S.. This was followed by Crossing the Line (1958), and A View from the West (1961). Revised, these were published by Penguin as I, Claud... in 1967. Again revised and shortened, with a new chapter, they were republished as Cockburn Sums Up shortly before he died.

Family

Claud Cockburn married three times: all three of his wives were also journalists.

  1. Hope Hale Davis: child Claudia Cockburn Flanders (wife of Michael Flanders)
  2. Jean Ross (model for Christopher Isherwood's Sally Bowles of Cabaret fame): child Sarah Caudwell Cockburn, author of detective stories
  3. Patricia Byron in 1940 (née Patricia Evangeline Anne Arbuthnot (17 March 1914 – 6 October 1989), daughter of Major John Bernard Arbuthnot and Olive Blake,[15] (author of The Years of the Week and Figure of Eight): children Alexander, Andrew (husband of Leslie Cockburn), Patrick.

His granddaughters include RadioNation host Laura Flanders, ex-BBC Economics editor Stephanie Flanders, and actress Olivia Wilde.[16]

See also

References

  1. ^ Article in wikiquotes
  2. ^ "Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it’s probably true'". The Independent.
  3. ^ "Claud Cockburn Quotes". BrainyQuote.
  4. ^ In his autobiography "In Time of Trouble" he refers to this phrase as advice he had "often heard" (London, 1957) p. 168.
  5. ^ Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 120.
  6. ^ Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 120.
  7. ^ Pincher, Chapman (2009). Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders, and Cover-ups: Six Decades of Espionage Against America andGreat Britain. Random House Publishing Group. p. 27. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  8. ^ In his autobiography, "In Time of Trouble" (London, 1957), p.125.
  9. ^ See New York magazine, 30 July 1979, pg. 8. New York magazine
  10. ^ Hochschild, Adam (2016). Spain In Our Hearts; Americans In the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-547-97318-0.
  11. ^ a b c Watt, Donald Cameron "Rumors as Evidence" pages 276-286 from Russia War, Peace and Diplomacy edited by Ljubica & Mark Erickson, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004 page 278.
  12. ^ a b Watt, Donald Cameron "Rumors as Evidence" pages 276-286 from Russia War, Peace and Diplomacy edited by Ljubica & Mark Erickson, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004 page 283.
  13. ^ "Ballantyne's Folly". google.bg.
  14. ^ Cockburn, Alexander. "Beat the Devil". CounterPunch. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  15. ^ Arbuthnot: Mrs. P. S-M. Arbuthnot, Memories of the Arbuthnots of Kincardineshire and Aberdeenshire (London, 1920), p. 311 Patricia married firstly on 10 October 1933 to Arthur Cecil Byron, son of Cecil Byron, divorcing in 1940,
  16. ^ Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 120

External links

Alexander Cockburn

Alexander Claud Cockburn ( KOH-bərn; 6 June 1941 – 21 July 2012) was an Irish-American political journalist and writer. Cockburn was brought up by British parents in Ireland but had lived and worked in the United States since 1972. Together with Jeffrey St. Clair, he edited the political newsletter CounterPunch. Cockburn also wrote the "Beat the Devil" column for The Nation as well as one for The Week in London, syndicated by Creators Syndicate.

Andrew Cockburn

Andrew Myles Cockburn ( KOH-burn; born 7 January 1947) is a journalist who has lived in the United States for many years.

Bananas (literary magazine)

Bananas is a British literary magazine that ran for 25 issues from January 1975 until 1979. It was initially published and edited by the novelist Emma Tennant but later issues were published and edited by the poet Abigail Mozley. Tennant chose to name the magazine after the motion picture Bananas (1971), directed by Woody Allen.

Quality and innovation helped to distinguish Bananas, but the magazine also appeared in an unusual format, that of a tabloid newspaper. Tennant believed this lent Bananas’ literary content more immediacy and addressed the readership’s appetite for culture in a contemporary media form. Tennant has said, “Bananas had a long-term effect on British literary audiences by taking the word ‘Review’ away from the concept of a literary magazine and insisting on original fiction; it insisted too on wit and jokes and irreverence.”

Contributors to Bananas included Angela Carter (who originally wrote the short story "The Company of Wolves" for the magazine), Heathcote Williams, Ruth Fainlight and Ted Hughes. Work by Claud Cockburn, Beryl Bainbridge, Harold Pinter, Sara Maitland, Bruce Chatwin, Peter Wollen and Philip Roth also featured. Several writers strongly associated with the speculative fiction magazine New Worlds found themselves welcomed to Bananas’ convention-challenging approach. Tom Disch and John Sladek were among these and J. G. Ballard was both a contributing editor and a constant presence, providing a short story for each issue.

The design of the magazine was created by Julian Rothenstein (subsequently founder of the art book publishing company Redstone Press) and was a considerable part of its character. One influence on Bananas’ format was Interview, the New York City magazine founded by Andy Warhol. In 1979 Emma Tennant’s nephew, Charles Tennant, was inspired by both publications to launch a short-lived literary nightlife tabloid entitled Chelsea Scoop.

The editorial office of Bananas was 2 Blenheim Crescent in Notting Hill Gate. In the 1970s this address was at the hub of much of London’s alternative and radical literary activity. Adjacent offices to Bananas housed the team that created An Index of Possibilities (a UK response to the American Whole Earth Catalogue), Frendz magazine, International Times (IT) and The Open Head Press. Michael Moorcock, editor of New Worlds, was also a neighbour.The history of Bananas is related in Tennant’s 1999 autobiographical book, Burnt Diaries. In this, the magazine’s struggles and successes are set in the context of Notting Hill Gate’s most prolific literary bohemian and countercultural era and against the background of Tennant’s relationship with Ted Hughes.

An anthology of work from the magazine, also titled Bananas, was published in 1977.

Basil Murray

Basil Andrew Murray (1902 – 1937), was a British editor, journalist and Liberal Party politician.

Beat the Devil

Beat the Devil may refer to:

Beat the Devil (film), a 1953 film directed by John Huston

Beat the Devil (novel), a 1951 thriller written by Claud Cockburn

Beat the Devil, a short film starring James Brown and Gary Oldman

Beat the Devil (film)

Beat the Devil is a 1953 adventure comedy film. The film was directed by John Huston, and starred Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones and Gina Lollobrigida, and featured Robert Morley, Peter Lorre and Bernard Lee. Huston and Truman Capote wrote the screenplay, loosely based upon a novel of the same name by British journalist Claud Cockburn, writing under the pseudonym James Helvick. Huston made the film as a parody of a genre of film. Although often described as a parody of The Maltese Falcon, which Huston directed and in which Bogart and Lorre appeared, this is not the case. Capote said, "John [Huston] and I decided to kid the story, to treat it as a parody. Instead of another Maltese Falcon, we turned it into a ... [spoof] on this type of film."The script, written on a day-to-day basis as the film was shot, concerns the adventures of a motley crew of swindlers and ne'er-do-wells trying to claim land rich in uranium deposits in Kenya as they wait in a small Italian port to travel aboard a tramp steamer en route to Mombasa.

Beat the Devil (novel)

Beat the Devil is a 1951 thriller written by Claud Cockburn under the pseudonym James Helvick. Cockburn had to use the pseudonym as, though he had left the British Communist Party in 1947, he was still considered a "Red" during the early years of the Cold War, which was rife with anti-communist sentiment. Beat the Devil was Cockburn's first novel, and the first work of fiction that the long-time political journalist had written since the 1920s. The title was later used by Cockburn's son Alexander for his regular column in The Nation.

The novel was published in the United Kingdom by Boardman and in the United States by J. B. Lippincott & Co. The publishers paid Cockburn an advance of between £200-300 and $750, respectively. Beat the Devil was made into a 1953 film by director John Huston, who paid Cockburn £3,000 for the rights to the book and screenplay. Cockburn collaborated with Huston on the early drafts of the script, but the credit went to Truman Capote.

Claud

Claud is a given name. Notable people with the name include:

Claud Allister (1888–1970), English actor

Claud Beelman (1883–1963), American architect

Claud Irvine Boswell (1742–1824), Scottish judge

Claud Thomas Bourchier (1831–1877), English recipient of the Victoria Cross

Claud E. Cleeton (1907–1997), physicist notable for his work on the microwave spectroscopy of ammonia

Claud Cockburn (1904–1981), radical English journalist controversial for communist sympathies

Claud Derrick, former Major League Baseball shortstop

Claud Lovat Fraser (1890–1921), English Artist, designer and author

Claud Hamilton, 1st Lord Paisley (1543–1621), Scottish politician

Claud Hamilton, 2nd Baron Hamilton of Strabane (1606–1638), the third son of James Hamilton

Claud Hamilton, 4th Earl of Abercorn, PC (1659–1691), Scottish and Irish peer and Jacobite

Claud Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby (1872–1950), British Conservative Party politician

Alfred Claud Hollis (1874–1961), British Resident to the Sultan of Zanzibar (1923–1929); Governor of Trinidad and Tobago (1930–1936)

Claud Jacob GCB GCSI KCMG (1863–1948), British Army officer who served in the First World War

Claud Ashton Jones (1885–1948), Rear Admiral in the United States Navy and a Medal of Honor recipient

Claud Morris (1920–2000), British newspaper owner who sought to make peace between Arabs and Israelis

Claud O'Donnell (1886–1953), Australian rugby union and rugby league player and represented his country at both sports

Claud Phillimore, 4th Baron Phillimore (1911–1994), English architect, 4th Baron Phillimore

Claud Raymond VC (1923–1945), British recipient of the Victoria Cross

Claud Schuster, 1st Baron Schuster (1869–1956), British barrister, Permanent Secretary to the Lord Chancellor's Office

Claud Andrew Montagu Douglas Scott, DSO (1906–1971), Colonel in the Irish Guards

Claud Severn (Chinese Translated Name: 施勳), British colonial administrator

Claud Eustace Teal, fictional character in a series of stories by Leslie Charteris entitled The Saint, starting in 1929

Claud Buchanan Ticehurst (1881–1941), British ornithologist

Claud Thomas Thellusson Wood, Bishop in the mid part of the Twentieth century

Claud Woolley (1886–1962), English cricketer who played for Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire

Lord Claud Hamilton (1787–1808) (1787–1808), British nobleman and politician

Lord Claud Hamilton (1813–1884) PC (1813–1884), British Conservative politician

Lord Claud Hamilton (1843–1925) (1843–1925), British Member of Parliament (MP)

Lord Claud Hamilton (1889–1975), GCVO, CMG, DSO (1889–1975), British soldier and courtier

Claudia Cockburn

Claudia Cockburn Flanders, OBE (11 February 1933 – 25 June 1998) was an American-British disability activist who spent much of her working life in the United Kingdom.

Her parents were Claud Cockburn, a journalist, and Hope Hale Davis. She married singer-songwriter Michael Flanders in 1959. Her stepmother, by her father's remarriage, was Jean Ross, the reported inspiration for Christopher Isherwood's iconic character Sally Bowles.In 1987, Flanders formed Tripscope, an organisation to help disabled people with transport issues. She created the post of adviser on disability to the National Bus Company (UK) in the 1970s and served for many years on the national Joint Committee on Mobility for Disabled People and the Department of Transport Advisory Committee on Disability in the UK. She was awarded an OBE in 1981 for her services to disabled people.

Cliveden set

The Cliveden Set were a 1930s, upper class group of prominent individuals politically influential in pre-World War II Britain, who were in the circle of Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor. The name comes from Cliveden, the stately home in Buckinghamshire, which was then Astor's country residence.

The "Cliveden Set" tag was coined by Claud Cockburn in his journalism for the Communist newspaper The Week. It has long been widely accepted that this aristocratic Germanophile social network was in favour of friendly relations with Nazi Germany and helped create the policy of appeasement. John L. Spivak, writing in 1939, devotes a chapter to the Set. Norman Rose's 2000 account of the group proposes that, when gathered at Cliveden, it functioned more like a think-tank than a cabal. According to Carroll Quigley, the Cliveden Set had been strongly anti-German before and during World War I. After the end of the war, the discovery of the Nazis' Black Book showed that the group's members were all to be arrested as soon as Britain was invaded; Lady Astor remarked, "It is the complete answer to the terrible lie that the so-called 'Cliveden Set' was pro-Fascist."The actual beliefs and influence of the Cliveden Set are matters of some dispute, and in the late 20th century some historians of the period came to consider the Cliveden Set allegations to be exaggerated. For instance, Christopher Sykes, in a sympathetic 1972 biography of Nancy Astor, argues that the entire story about the Cliveden Set was an ideologically motivated fabrication by Claud Cockburn that came to be generally accepted by a public looking for scapegoats for British pre-war appeasement of Adolf Hitler. There are also academic arguments that while Cockburn's account may have not have been entirely accurate, his main allegations cannot be easily dismissed.

Henry Cockburn (consul)

Henry Cockburn (2 March 1859 – 1927) was a British diplomat.

Hope Hale Davis

Hope Hale Davis (November 2, 1903 – October 2, 2004) was a 20th-century American feminist (or "proto-feminist") and communist, later author and writing teacher.

Olivia Wilde

Olivia Jane Cockburn (born March 10, 1984), known professionally as Olivia Wilde, is an American actress, model, producer, director and activist. She is known for her role as Dr. Remy "Thirteen" Hadley on the medical-drama television series House (2007–2012), and her roles in the films Conversations with Other Women (2005), Alpha Dog (2007), Tron: Legacy (2010), Cowboys & Aliens (2011), Butter (2011), Drinking Buddies (2013), The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013), Rush (2013),The Lazarus Effect (2015), Love the Coopers (2015), and Meadowland (2015). In 2017, Wilde made her Broadway debut, playing the role of Julia in 1984.

The Week (1933)

The Week was a radical British newspaper from 1933 until 1941.

Marxist journalist Claud Cockburn launched the first British publication known as The Week as a newsletter in the spring of 1933, after he had returned from reporting on Germany. It focused on the rise of fascism, in a style that anticipated Private Eye and won a wide readership, according to Cockburn's son. Jessica Mitford attributed the journal's influence to its use of undercover sources. It ceased publication in 1941.In the late 1930s, The Week was highly critical of Neville Chamberlain and his policy of appeasement. Cockburn maintained in the 1960s that much of the information in The Week was leaked to him by Sir Robert Vansittart, the Permanent Under-Secretary of the Foreign Office.At the same time, Cockburn claimed that MI5 was spying on him because of The Week; but the British historian D.C. Watt argued that it was more likely that, if anyone was spying on Cockburn, it was the Special Branch of Scotland Yard who were less experienced in this work than MI5. Cockburn was an opponent of appeasement before the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. In a 1937 article in The Week, Cockburn coined the term Cliveden set to describe what he alleged to be an upper-class pro-German group that exercised influence behind the scenes. The Week ceased publication shortly after the war began.

Watt alleges that the information printed in The Week included rumours, some of which suited Moscow's interests. Watt used as an example the claim The Week made in February–March 1939 that German troops were concentrating in Klagenfurt for an invasion of Yugoslavia, which Watt says had no basis in reality.

The Week (1964)

The Week was a socialist newspaper founded by Ken Coates and Pat Jordan in 1964 and edited by Jordan as the journal of the International Group and aimed at a readership in the left wing of the Labour Party.

Coates and Jordan were Marxist members of the Labour Party connected to the New Left Review, to which Marxist journalist Claud Cockburn occasionally contributed. Their version of The Week, named after the earlier The Week that had been edited by Cockburn, provided a socialist critique of Harold Wilson's government, notably over its failure to oppose the Vietnam War. Jordan edited the paper until 1968, when he cooperated with Tariq Ali in launching The Black Dwarf. At that time The Week became a monthly magazine called International, which was published by the International Marxist Group.

The Week (disambiguation)

The Week is a weekly news magazine with editions in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Week may also refer to:

The Week (1933), radical weekly scandal sheet published by Claud Cockburn from 1933 until 1941

The Week (1964), socialist newsweekly edited by Pat Jordan and published from 1964 until 1968

The Week (Brisbane), Australian newspaper published from 1876 to 1934

The Week (Canadian magazine), literary and political magazine published from 1883 to 1896

The Week (Indian magazine), news magazine founded in 1982

Vera Elkan

Vera Elkan (1908–2008) was a South African photographer who is remembered for her images of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War.

Week (disambiguation)

A week is a time unit equal to seven days.

The word week may also refer to time cycles in other calendars, such as:

the eight-day week

the nine-day week

the Chinese ten-day week

for the 19-day Bahá'í "week" see Bahá'í calendarWeek as a proper noun may also refer to:

"Week" (Do As Infinity song), a 2001 song by Do As Infinity

Week, Devon, a village in England

The Week, a British news magazine, with US and Australian editions, founded in 1995.

The Week (1933), a radical and antifascist weekly published by Marxist Claud Cockburn until 1941.

The Week (1964) a socialist newsweekly edited by Pat Jordan and published from 1964 until 1968.

The Week (Canadian magazine), a literary and political magazine

The Week (Indian magazine), a news magazine

The Week (Brisbane), a former Australian newspaper (1876–1934)WEEK may refer to:

WEEK-TV, a television station licensed to Peoria, Illinois, United States

WEEK-DT2, a digital subchannel service of WEEK-TV

WEEK-DT3, a digital subchannel service of WEEK-TV

WOAM, an AM radio station licensed to Peoria, Illinois, United States, which held the call sign WEEK until 1960

WPIA, an FM radio station licensed to Eureka, Illinois, United States, which held the call sign WEEK-FM from 1997 to 1999

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