Harry Evans, editor of The Sunday Times from 1967 until 1981, has written a curious book. Styled an ‘autobiography’ (which it is, in that it traces the author from his humble origins as the son of an engine driver through his rapid rise in British journalism to his present grand life in New York), it is also a – somewhat dated – journalist’s manual; a catalogue of tributes (Evans often sounds like a headmaster on prize-giving day); and a history of the great newspaper campaigns, like the battle with Distillers over thalidomide, which he waged in his heyday.
Evans’s early years are inspirational. Born into a happy, aspiring working-class family – nostalgia sloshes about these pages like melting ice-cream on a hot pudding – he clawed his way first into journalism and then, after National Service, to Durham University, a truly moving story of endeavour. Everywhere