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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anthony Terrell Seward Sampson (3 August 1926 – 18 December 2004) was a British writer and journalist. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church Oxford and served with the Royal Navy from 1944-47. During the 1950s he edited the magazine Drum in Johannesburg, South Africa. On returning to the United Kingdom he joined the editorial staff of The Observer, where he worked from 1955-66. Sampson was the author of a series of major books with Anatomy of Britain (1963). His main themes were how Britain works as a state, and large corporations. He was also a founding member of the (defunct) Social Democratic Party (SDP).


As that list indicates, he took an interest in broad political and economic power structure. But what a mere list cannot convey is that Sampson saw power as personal, so his books often read like series of interlocked biographies — of arms merchants, oil company executives, etc., according to the theme of each. He was a biographer and personal friend of Nelson Mandela.

Furthermore, the personal was for Sampson also the psychological, even the psychoanalytical, as this passage from The Money Lenders shows:

"[Bankers] seem specially conscious of time, always aware that time is money. There is always a sense of restraint and tension. (Is it part of the connection which Freud observed between compulsive neatness, anal eroticism, and interest in money?)"


External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Anthony Terrell Seward Sampson (3 August 192618 December 2004) was a British writer and journalist; he was also a founding member of the (defunct) Social Democratic Party (SDP).


Anatomy of Britain Today (1965)

  • In America journalism is apt to be regarded as an extension of history: in Britain, as an extension of conversation.
    • Chapter 9
  • Once you touch the trappings of monarchy, like opening an Egyptian tomb, the inside is liable to crumble.
    • Chapter 2
  • Members rise from CMG (known sometimes in Whitehall as "Call Me God") to KCMG ("Kindly Call Me God") to GCMG ("God Calls Me God").
    • Chapter 18

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