From the archive: the New Statesman anniversary issue

102 years of the NS.

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The New Statesman was founded on 12 April 1913 as a “weekly review of politics and literature”. Shortly afterwards, our co­founder Beatrice Webb wrote in her diary: “If I were forced to wager, I should not back our success.” On several occasions over the decades that followed, as weekly magazines began to wither and die, it seemed as if the New Statesman would not make it. Yet here we are today celebrating our 102nd birthday and, because of our digital expansion (we recently launched two new websites, may2015.com and citymetric.com), we are now reaching more readers than ever before while continuing to publish a successful, 72­ page weekly magazine.

In 2013, as part of our centenary celebrations, we published two limited ­edition magazines showcasing our incomparable archive. They proved to be very popular – and both sold out. Fortunately, they will soon be available as a single ­edition ebook, The New Statesman Century. Because of the success of these volumes and because of the many requests we receive from readers for more archive material, we have decided to publish an annual anniversary issue.

The selections from the archive in this week’s magazine are:

E M Forster’s 1931 defence of the freedom of the BBC

J B Priestley’s 1957 essay arguing against British membership of the European Common Market

A 1973 piece by Martin Amis predicting that David Bowie was destined to fail

John Braine's 1957 portrait of a provinical intellectual

A 1962 piece from Philip Larkin on the voice of the poet

 

This article appears in the 09 April 2015 issue of the New Statesman, The Anniversary Issue 2015