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Date TimeAugust 06, 2019
VoiceThe editor of New Society from 1968 to 1986, columnist and author who was interested in jazz, film and theatre as well as politicsThe writer and editor Paul Barker, who has died aged 83, liked to recall the introductory claim, made on a radio programme he was taking part in, that the 60s really began in the first week of October 1962, “when the Beatles’ first single was released, the first Bond movie opened, and the first issue of New Society appeared”.
Paul Barker obituary
He joined the social affairs magazine shortly afterwards, serving as a staff writer and deputy editor until, in 1968, he became its editor. Its contents, and indeed its title – it was a younger twin of New Scientist, founded in 1956 – drew strongly on what Paul called “the then-novel insights” of the social sciences. For him, the social sciences, including anthropology, sociology, psychology, history, politics and certain aspects of the study of architecture, were always linked to a current, inhabited world, to the ways people lived then. And by the same token the pages devoted to literature and the arts were never critically separated from the others.

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