|Claud Cockburn Biography||
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Francis Claud Cockburn (pronounced Coe-burn or ) (1904–1981) was a renowned radical Britain journalist, who was controversial for his communist and Stalinist sympathies. He was the cousin of novelist Evelyn Waugh.
The son of a diplomat, Cockburn was born in China in 1904.
After obtaining a degree from Oxford University, he became a journalist with The Times.
He worked as a foreign correspondent in Germany and the United States before resigning in 1933 to start up his own newsletter, The Week.
During his spell as a sub-editor on The Times, Cockburn and some colleagues had an unofficial competition to devise the most factually accurate yet most boring headline. Cockburn claimed the honours with "Small Earthquake in Chile. Not many Dead."
Under the name Frank Pitcairn, Cockburn also contributed to the British communist newspaper the The Morning Star. In 1936, Harry Pollitt, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain, asked him to cover the Spanish Civil War for the newspaper. When he arrived in Spain, he joined the Fifth Regiment so that he could report the war as an ordinary soldier. While in Spain, he published Reporter in Spain.
Cockburn was attacked by George Orwell in his book Homage to Catalonia (1938). Orwell accused Cockburn of being under the control of the Communist Party and was particularly critical of the way Cockburn reported the Barcelona May Days. Cockburn helped spread propaganda that Hitler and Mussolini had planned the revolt, leading to its suppression.
According to the editor of a volume of his writings on Spain, Claud Cockburn formed a close personal relationship with Mikhail Koltsov, "then the foreign editor of Pravda and at that time, in Cockburn's view, 'the confidant and mouthpiece and direct agent of Stalin in Spain'."
Cockburn was a strong opponent of appeasement before the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and the government banned The Week for his endless criticism. The journal ceased publication shortly after the war.
In 1947, Cockburn moved to Ireland but continued to contribute to various newspapers and journals, including a weekly column for The Irish Times.
Among his novels were Beat the Devil (originally published under the pseudonym James Helvick), made into a well-known film directed by John Huston with script credit to Truman Capote, The Horses, Ballantyne's Folly, and Jericho Road.
He also published several other books including 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 United Kingdom and as A Discord of Trumpets in the United States. 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.
Claud Cockburn was married three times: to Hope Hale Davis, with whom he fathered the late Claudia Flanders; to Jean Ross (part model for Christopher Isherwood's Sally Bowles), with whom he fathered the late Sarah Caudwell Cockburn, author of detective stories; and to Patricia Byron, nee Arbuthnot (who also wrote an autobiography, Figure of Eight), with whom he fathered Alexander Cockburn, Andrew Cockburn, and Patrick Cockburn, all three of whom are also journalists. His granddaughters include The O.C. actress Olivia Wilde, BBC Newsnight economics editor, Stephanie Flanders, and RadioNation presenter Laura Flanders.
Category:Private Eye contributors
Courtesy of: http://www.wikipedia.org/