Believe Nothing until It Is Officially Denied

Believe Nothing until It Is Officially Denied:Claud Cockburn and the Invention of Guerrilla Journalism

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Can a journalist be a revolutionary?

Leading Middle East correspondent surveys the life and work of his father, the groundbreaking radical journalist, Claud Cockburn, and meditates whether journalist can still change the world. Claud started on Fleet Street in the 1930s - where he reported from Berlin and New York, and even interview Al Capone. A communist, he was sent to cover the Spanish Civil War for the Daily Worker, also clashing with George Orwell who depicted him as the Stalinist Frank Pitcairn. Returning to London, he set up The Week, a radical newsletter that set the template for radical journalism, from Punch to Private Eye. Here he argued against appeasement and gained the attention of the secret service. He also lambasted the British establishment, in particular the Cliveden Set. he later became a novelist, one of which became the John Houston film, Beat the Devil.

This is the first biography of Cockburn, by his youngest son.


  • Quite simply, the best Western journalist at work in Iraq today

    Seymour Hersh
  • A fine and courageous journalist

    Max HastingsSunday Times
  • one of the best informed on-the-ground journalists

    Sidney Blumenthal