chapter  73
3 Pages

Kingsley Martin, Review, 'new Statesman and Nation', November 1938

After an early career as an assistant lecturer in political science at the London School of Economics, followed by a spell as leader writer on the 'Manchester Guardian1, Kingsley Martin (1897-1969) began his long and brilliant career as editor of the 'New Statesman' in 1931, the year when the liberal 'Nation' was amalgamated with the socialist 'New Statesman1 (Beatrice and Sidney Webb and Bernard Shaw had been closely involved in the first planning and production of the 'New Statesman' in 1912). Martin fashioned 'New Staggers and Naggers', as it became widely known, into a paper of candid Left-wing dissent, and fostered such a high standard of literary criticism that it attracted readers who otherwise balked at its political committment. 'Under Martin's editorship', 'The Times' obituary records,

the circulation of the 'New Statesman' rose from about 15,000 in 1931 to 30,000 in 1939 and then to about treble that figure by the end of the Second World War... It was not his view that the literary side of the paper should square at all points with the Socialist doctrine of the editorials. He rightly let his brilliant writers - and they included Raymond Mortimer, Desmond MacCarthy, V.S. Pritchett, G.W. Stonier, Robert Lynd, Edward Sackville-West, and T.C. Worsley - have their heads.