Peter Robins, Daily Telegraph

“As I Please”, the weekly column that George Orwell wrote for Tribune in the 1940s, shows him at his most attractive: in direct and economically humorous prose, he ranges from the Cornhill magazine to the future of warfare, always ready to argue seriously with readers’ letters and unafraid to attack Tribune’s advertisers. Orwell is not a wholly reliable prophet (on the verge of the baby boom, he worries about Britain’s declining population) but this holds up better than most collections of fugitive pieces. Paul Anderson’s notes clarify the occasional bouts of Fleet Street infighting.


Paul Anderson, Tribune column, 18 September 2007

I know it’s a bit late to give you my take on the materials released at the beginning of the month by the National Archives – but I’ve not had a chance before now, so you’re lumped with it. I’m talking about the surveillance files on George Orwell, of course, which occupied the up-market papers for a day or two four weeks ago and since have been completely forgotten. Continue reading

D. J. Taylor, Independent on Sunday

Books of the year feature

The year’s work in Orwell studies produced two terrific books: Peter Davison’s The Lost Orwell (Timewell Press), which brings together all the material discovered since his monumental 20-volume George Orwell: The Complete Works (1998), and Orwell in Tribune (Politico’s), edited by the magazine’s former editor Paul Anderson. My favourite homegrown novel was Will Self’s The Book of Dave (Viking), a London dystopia whose roots curl all the way back to Richard Jeffferies.

Martin Rowson, Tribune

As an utterly unworthy subsequent tenant (albeit on a time-share basis) of George Orwell’s old Tribune column “As I Please”, I read his second lead for March 3 1944 with some interest. It’s typical of the tone of most of his articles, now gathered together for the first time in Orwell in Tribune: wide-ranging, often conversational, frequently not directly political and always rather strangely playful. Continue reading


Paul Anderson, Tribune column, 19 May 2006

OK, and now for something to cheer you all up. It’s this magazine’s 70th birthday in six months and I’ve been spending some time beefing up on the history for a collection of George Orwell’s columns for Tribune that — with a bit of luck — should be appearing in time for the celebrations. In the meantime, here’s a quiz, and the first two correct answers to me get free copies of the Orwell book. Answers by snail-mail to Tribune Quiz, Tribune, 9 Arkwright Road, London NW3 6AN or (preferably) by email to Continue reading


Paul Anderson, Tribune column, May 20 2003

In marked contrast to the hoo-hah in the press over Cambridge Spies, the BBC’s big-budget television dramatisation of the already familiar tale of Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean and Anthony Blunt, the genuinely newsworthy revelation in a new book of the identity of the Soviet agent who spied on George Orwell and other members of the Independent Labour Party contingent in Spain during the civil war in the 1930s has so far gone unremarked everywhere but the Guardian. Continue reading


Paul Anderson, Tribune column, 27 June 2002

I apologise for returning to the subject of George Orwell’s list of alleged Stalinist sympathisers, but Elizabeth C Hazlehurst’s letter a fortnight ago (Tribune June 14) demands a response — not least because she got her facts wrong. Continue reading


Paul Anderson, Tribune 65th anniversary issue, 2 March 2002

I was editor of Tribune from 1991 to 1993, but I joined the paper in 1986 when it was edited by Nigel Williamson — a man who in a dozen years went from hippy to Bennite to Walworth Road apparatchik to senior Murdoch hack to hippy again. He made me reviews editor, a job I’d dreamed of doing since getting hooked on George Orwell in my early twenties, and the five years I did it were some of the happiest I’ve had. Neither Nigel nor his successor as editor, Phil Kelly, ever interfered with the pages. I commissioned and wrote just what I wanted. Continue reading


Paul Anderson, review of various collections of work by George Orwell, Tribune, 7 September 2001

The publication in 1998 of a complete hardback edition of George Orwell’s Collected Works – all the novels, published journalism and surviving broadcast scripts, letters and notes, edited by Peter Davison – was universally heralded as one of the greatest triumphs of serious publishing in living memory, as indeed it was. It was extraordinarily comprehensive in its scope, and the editing was meticulous, erudite and informative. Continue reading


Paul Anderson, review of The War Broadcasts by George Orwell, edited by W.J. West (Penguin, £4.95) and The War Commentaries by George Orwell, edited by W.J. West (Penguin, £4.95), Tribune, 24 July 1988

From 1941 to 1943, George Orwell was employed by the Indian section of the BBC’s Eastern Service. He wrote a weekly piece analysing the war as it happened, designed to counter Axis propaganda broadcasts to India; and he wrote and produced less regular talks and discussions, mainly on cultural themes. In 1984, the scripts of Orwell’s programmes were unearthed by W. J. West, who edited them into two volumes, which are now published for the first time in paperback. Continue reading