Johnson, Paul 1928–
Johnson, Paul 1928–
(Paul Bede Johnson)
PERSONAL: Born November 2, 1928, in Barton, England; son of William Aloysius and Anne Johnson; married Marigold Hunt (a book reviewer), 1958; children: Daniel, Cosmo, Luke, Sophie. Education: Attended Stonyhurst College; Magdalen College, Oxford, B.A. (with honors), 1950. Politics: Conservative. Religion: Roman Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Collecting books and paintings, with emphasis on eighteenth-century paintings; painting; mountaineering.
ADDRESSES: Home—29 Newton Rd., London W2 5JR, England. Office—New Statesman, 10 Great Turnstile, London WC1, England; fax: 011-44-207-792-1676.
CAREER: Realité, Paris, France, assistant executive editor, 1952–55; New Statesman, London, England, assistant editor, 1955–60, deputy editor, 1960–64, editor, 1965–70; served as speechwriter for British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; chair, Iver Village Labour Party, 1966; member of Royal Commission on the Press, 1974–77; member of Cable Authority (regulator), 1984–90; American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC, DeWitt Wallace professor of communications, 1980. Has done extensive television work, mainly in the field of current affairs broadcasts.
MEMBER: National Union of Journalists.
The Suez War, MacGibbon & Kee (London, England), 1957.
Journey into Chaos, MacGibbon & Kee (London, England), 1958.
Left of Centre, MacGibbon & Kee (London, England), 1960.
Merrie England, Macmillan (London, England), 1964.
Statesmen and Nations, Sidgwick & Jackson (London, England), 1971.
The Offshore Islanders: From Roman Occupation to European Entry, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1972, published as The Offshore Islanders: England's People from Roman Occupation to the Present, Holt (New York, NY), 1972.
(With George Gale) The Highland Jaunt, Collins (London, England), 1973.
The Life and Times of Edward III, introduction by Antonia Fraser, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1973.
Pope John XXIII, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1974.
A Place in History, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1974, Drake (New York, NY), 1975.
A History of Christianity, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1976.
Enemies of Society, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1977.
The Civilization of Ancient Egypt, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1978.
The National Trust Book of British Castles, Putnam (New York, NY), 1978.
Britain's Own Road to Serfdom (monograph), Conservative Political Centre, 1978.
Civilizations of the Holy Land, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1979.
A Tory Philosophy of Law, Conservative Political Centre, 1979.
The Things that Are Not Caesar's, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (Washington, DC), 1980.
(With Irving Kristol and Michael Novak) The Moral Basis of Democratic Capitalism, American Enterprise Institute (Washington, DC), 1980.
Ireland: Land of Troubles, Eyre Methuen (London, England), 1980, new edition published as Ireland: A History from the Twelfth Century to the Present Day, 1981, published as Ireland: Land of Troubles; A History from the Twelfth Century to the Present Day, Holmes & Meier (New York, NY), 1981, new edition published as Ireland: A Concise History from the Twelfth Century to the Present Day, Academy Chicago (Chicago, IL), 1982.
The Recovery of Freedom, Basil Blackwell (London, England), 1980, Biblio Distributors (Totowa, NJ), 1981.
British Cathedrals, Morrow (New York, NY), 1980.
Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Restoration, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1982.
A History of the Modern World from 1917 to the 1980s, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1983, published as Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Eighties, Harper (New York, NY), 1983, revised edition, HarperPerennial (New York, NY), 1992.
A History of the English People, Harper (New York, NY), 1985.
Saving and Spending: The Working-Class Economy in Britain, 1870–1939, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1985.
(Editor) The Oxford Book of Political Anecdotes, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1986.
(With others) Unsecular America, edited by Richard J. Neuhaus, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1986.
A History of the Jews, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1987, Harper (New York, NY), 1988.
Intellectuals, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1988.
(Editor, with Ethan Haimo) Stravinsky Retrospectives, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 1988.
Castles of England, Scotland and Wales, Harper (New York, NY), 1989.
(Coeditor) Workers versus Pensioners: Intergenerational Justice in an Ageing World, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1990.
(Editor, with others) American Government: People, Institutions and Policies (with test bank and instructor's manual), 2nd edition (Johnson not associated with earlier edition), Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1990.
The Birth of the Modern: World Society, 1815–1830, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1991.
The Quotable Paul Johnson: A Topical Compilation of His Wit, Wisdom, and Satire, edited by George J. Marlin, Richard P. Rabatin, and Heather Richardson Higgins, Noonday Press (New York, NY), 1994.
The Quest for God: A Personal Pilgrimage, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.
A History of the American People, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1998.
The Renaissance: A Short History, Modern Library (New York, NY), 2000.
Napoleon, Viking (New York, NY), 2002.
Art: A New History, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.
(And illustrator) The Vanished Landscape: A 1930s Childhood in the Potteries, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 2004.
Creators: From Chaucer and Dürer to Picasso and Disney, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to books, including Will Capitalism Survive?, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Georgetown University (Washington, DC), 1979. Contributor to periodicals, including Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times Book Review. Author of regular column, Spectator magazine.
SIDELIGHTS: British historian, broadcaster, editor, and world traveler, Paul Johnson is one of the most respected journalists of his generation. The editor of the New Statesman during the late 1960s, Johnson once defended socialism. However, his disappointment with the results of trade unionism and other current events, together with his study of social history, eventually convinced him that collectivism in society is not feasible. The Recovery of Freedom chronicles his conversion to a more conservative point of view. Johnson cites encroachments of the British state on individuals' freedoms in defense of his distaste for collectivist policies. In Enemies of Society Johnson expresses his conviction that the combined forces of irrationalism and violence pose a fatal threat to Western civilization. Both The Recovery of Freedom and Enemies of Society elicited a wide range of critical response.
Johnson is also the author of a number of well-received studies of British history, including Ireland: Land of Troubles and a biography of Queen Elizabeth I. His ventures into world history, however, have brought him more critical attention. A History of Christianity and A History of the Jews have been widely reviewed in the United States and Europe. Johnson's view is that of the historian rather than the theologian; both books attend more to historical events and social movements than to the belief systems that fostered them.
Johnson's immersion in research on the Christian Church allowed him to see that this faith is very closely related to Judaism. In a Publishers Weekly interview, Johnson explained: "When I was writing the History of Christianity I found that the debt Christianity owed to Judaism was much greater than I'd supposed and, I think, much greater than most … people realize. I thought then that if I got the chance I would like to write a history of the Jews, too." In his work, A History of the Jews, Johnson focuses on the many significant exchanges between Judaism and Western culture. Some critics took issue with many of the author's judgments in A History of the Jews, but they still pronounced Johnson's efforts praiseworthy. New York Times Book Review contributor Arthur Hertzberg, for example, concluded: "Some of Mr. Johnson's generalizations are overbold and glib…. Nonetheless, this book is a remarkable achievement…. Johnson's continuing self-education in Jewish history keeps moving the author, chapter by chapter, away from seeing Jewish experience as a function of Christianity and toward understanding Jews in their own terms…. Mr. Johnson's account of the Holocaust," Hertzberg declared, "is the best short summary of contemporary scholarship I have read."
Johnson's Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Eighties combines his aptitude for writing history with well-founded social criticism. Johnson discusses world events to expose the ill effects of moral relativism, social engineering, fascism, and totalitarianism on the modern world. "This is a work of intellect and imagination, in which the author shows a strong grasp of complex material and a remarkable ability to fit into a unity the interacting forces of political and social movements all over the world during what is effectively the whole post-1914 period," Stephen Spender observed in the Atlantic. "What stands out," Spender added, "is his dark, almost apocalyptic … vision of what he regards as perhaps the most terrible century (if measured by its inhumanity and acts of violence) in the history of mankind." When individuals began to delegate the role of conscience to domineering institutions and despotic political leaders, civilization became inhumane, Johnson suggests. Yet he concludes that the survival of morality, religious belief, and sustained commitments to individual liberty despite dehumanizing forces leave doors open to optimism.
When asked in a Publishers Weekly interview with Michele Field whether he sees himself as an intellectual, Johnson replied: "I've often criticized the whole concept of intellectuals. Their tendency as a class is to put ideas before people, and that is very dangerous. I don't want to be an intellectual of any kind." In Intellectuals, Johnson tests a number of the century's prominent thinkers for moral integrity and finds them wanting. Often violating the standards they professed in public, a dozen historical personages, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Karl Marx, behaved in ways that should cause others to question the viability of their ideals, Johnson asserts. "Those who insisted that they spoke for 'the workers' had never known any. Sponging when they were poor, grasping when they were rich, these gurus were consistently cruel and egocentric. Promising to build a variety of heavens on earth, they paved the way to a good many hells," an Economist reviewer pointed out. Johnson's own assessment of his subjects is a "fascinated disapproval," Joseph Sobran noted in the National Review.
The same phrase describes the general response the best seller received from critics, who largely indicted Johnson for suspending his characteristic depth and objectivity. Writing in the Times Literary Supplement, Jaroslaw Anders explained: "Johnson is right to warn us that intellectuals are as prone to conformity, self-interest and error as other mortals. They do, sometimes, form self-promoting coteries and act as censors against those who dare to oppose their ideas." Anders agreed with many other critics, however, that "although [Johnson] allows some of his heroes talent, greatness, even genius, his portraits are more like caricatures than serious studies of human character."
Despite these and other criticisms, some commentators claimed that to read Intellectuals is a valuable experience. Although "caustic" and "skewed," Johnson's profiles are "thought-provoking and thoroughly engaging," commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. New York Times Book Review contributor Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty asserted that Johnson's reveling in his subjects' "lying, fornicating, and dishonesty about money" is "great fun to read."
One of Johnson's most ambitious projects is The Birth of the Modern: World Society, 1815–1830. A "mammoth tome" of more than 1,000 pages, it proposes that the modern world's foundation was laid in the years between the Battle of Waterloo and the overthrow of the restored French monarchy. Critical response to the book was as varied as the subjects the author treats within its pages. At one extreme is New Republic writer Lawrence Stone, who allowed that The Birth of the Modern has "some virtues," but who goes on to condemn it as a fatally flawed work. He conceded that "it is very readable, if one is prepared to accept its unbelievably rambling organization," credited the author with extensive research, and averred that "some topics are treated with real brilliance. If anyone wants to know, for example, about the full horrors of traveling in the early nineteenth century, and about how things improved, he could not do better than read Johnson's forty pages on the subject. The account is lively, personalized, sensible, and well informed." Yet Stone went on to say that the theme of Johnson's book is unacceptably vague; the author fails "at any point to define what he means by 'modern.' The reader is left to guess by examining those persons, innovations, events, or ideas" covered in the book. The critic charged that "it is safe to conclude … that Johnson does not really know what 'modern' is."
Stone also complained that Johnson "insists on embroidering his lively pen-portraits" of historical figures "with wholly irrelevant detail, frequently erotic in nature, that bears no relation whatever to his argument." He concluded that while "The Birth of the Modern is a mine of gossipy information about famous personalities … it is structurally incapable of asking any profound questions…. Let the reader be warned. If he tries to read this cozy-looking book in bed, it will crush his ribs, addle his brains, and fill him with much misinformation about the birth of the modern world." New Statesman & Society reviewer Stephen Howe also felt that The Birth of the Modern "carries an utterly fraudulent title and preface." Nevertheless, the critic declared that with a more appropriate title, the book could be "appreciated and enjoyed for what it is": a "narrative of political, cultural, social and, to a very limited extent, economic changes in the world of the north Atlantic and western Europe, centered overwhelmingly on Britain." The Birth of the Modern was also praised as "a savory social history, spiced with lively gossip … a tour de force" in "many ways" by New York Times Book Review contributor Eugen Weber.
Norman Gall was unreservedly enthusiastic about The Birth of the Modern in his Commentary review: "With its masterful weaving of portraits and episodes into long chapters, The Birth of the Modern takes on some of the qualities of an epic poem." He admitted that Johnson does not completely analyze all aspects of change in society, but stated that to expect him to do so "is to require too much of one who has already done an almost unbelievably great deal." Gall commended "the intellectual resources, the enthusiasm, [and] the narrative gifts displayed in this book" and credited the author with helping readers to "understand the dynamics of modernization as they really were." In conclusion, Gall wrote: "The Birth of the Modern celebrates the brilliance of modernity's first great burst in the sky; reading it should make us aware of how much courage, understanding, and cooperation will be necessary if the modern enterprise is to be sustained and to develop."
Johnson returned his attention to religion in The Quest for God: A Personal Pilgrimage. He attempts here to convince readers that God exists and that organized religion is vitally important. A lifelong Roman Catholic, he finds the authority and discipline of that church to be ideal. New York Times Book Review critic Kenneth L. Woodward observed: "At a time when the religion bookshelf sags with self-dramatizing 'spiritual journeys,' it is a relief to hear from a writer who feels serenely secure in the faith he received as a child and has practiced all his life." However, he ultimately found Johnson's religious beliefs "surprisingly unsophisticated" and rather narrow-minded. Rosalind Miles expressed a similar view more vehemently in the Spectator, calling The Quest for God "a deeply disappointing book, the more so as its avowed aim is 'to help' both the writer and 'other people.' What could have been an intellectually rigorous, thought-provoking and fascinating journey of spiritual exploration proves to come straight from the 'What-I-tell-you-three-times-is-true' school of bashing the brainless and educating the great unwashed…. If you enjoy arrogance for an appetizer, muddle for main course, dullness for dessert and absurdity for afters, this is the dish for you." Ian Buruma concurred in the New Yorker that the book "gives off a distinct smell of bigotry. Overexcited opinions fleck his prose like spittle around a fanatic's mouth…. One comes away … feeling that, if the author is right, one is destined to go straight to Hell."
"Rather like the God he describes, [Johnson] always has the last word," admitted Peter Stanford in New Statesman & Society. Yet Stanford also had kind words for The Quest for God and its author, whom he described as "expansive, unafraid to tackle huge subjects that span millennia." In Standford's view, The Quest for God is "a powerful, colorfully argued and intensely personal study of humankind's desire for something 'other' than the here and now—for a remote, often indiscernible power that created and now guides our world … Every page drips with information, history, and anecdote."
Johnson published another ambitious work, the 1,088-page A History of the American People, in 1998. A frequent visitor to America since the 1950s, Johnson decided to take on the project when he realized how little he had learned about American history during his own schooling. The book begins with the first European explorations of the North American shoreline and ends with an assessment of the Clinton administration. What distinguishes A History of the American People from other American history texts is its unabashedly conservative viewpoint. According to Chris Appy in Commonweal: "With the publication of Paul Johnson's A History of the American People, it's time for the right wing to declare victory and withdraw. For here is celebration galore and you won't have to defer your gratification." Indeed, Johnson has written an optimistic account of American independence and entrepreneurship, focusing on those American figures who achieved political, literary, or industrial prominence. Appy stated that the author "shares the '50's penchant for national history written from the top, about the top. Here is a history of generals, diplomats, inventors, industrialists, and every single president." Johnson applauds the American aversion to high taxes and governmental interference and commends its rise as a world power on the strength of religious and capitalist principles. "A History of the American People is not 'balanced' and does not pretend to be," commented Pauline Maier in the New York Times Book Review. "But anyone who dismisses it as a conservative tract will miss the arresting contentions and pieces of fascinating, oddball information sprinkled through its 1,000-plus pages. The book also offers a rare opportunity to witness someone trying to make sense of all 400 years of American history and to discover what 'tremendous lessons' it holds for Americans and 'the rest of mankind.'"
Many critics, even those who did not agree with Johnson's opinions, praised the style and verve of A History of the American People. "I'm not … troubled by Johnson's uncritical celebration of capitalism and authority," Appy stated. "It is probably preferable to the mind-numbing neutrality of many textbooks. At least readers can identify a point of view." National Reviewcontributor Michael Lind contended that the work "unites sound scholarship with insightful analogies, personality profiles, and vivid detail in just the right proportion." Lind added: "This is vivid and memorable writing, as well as an object lesson in the artful use of quotation…. Johnson's readers can only be impressed by his ability to overcome the narrative historian's difficulties with intelligence, skill, faith, strength of purpose, courage, and—not least—persistence. Johnson's major competitor in this genre of popular history is himself, and despite some lapses and longueurs inevitable in such a book—he lives up to his reputation as a scholar and a writer." Newsweek reviewer Kenneth Auchincloss declared that Johnson "is never shy about offering his own opinions; he carves them like initials onto the tree trunks of nearly every page. They are never less than refreshing, even at their most contrarian." In Forbes magazine, Steve Forbes concluded that, while Johnson's arguments "are often provocative and go against the grain … this audacious book is a magnificent achievement."
Johnson's Napoleon is a "concise and closely argued" critical biography of the notorious French military leader and emperor, noted Stephen Goode in Insight on the News. For Johnson, Napoleon's legacy lies at the "roots of much that's wrong with the world today," Goode related. Among those evils, Johnson states, are the creation of powerful centralized states; the reliance on force and war; the use of cultural propaganda; and the coercion of entire populations for the pursuit of personal power or ideological victories. The dictator and the accompanying totalitarian state can also trace their roots directly to the rule of Napoleon, according to Johnson, as can the terrors of the Soviet Gulag. Napoleon and the Gulag connect, notes Johnson, in areas such as Napoleon's creation of the state-level apparatus for tyranny, in his ruthlessness, in his creation of a secret police force, and in his predilection for mass slaughter. With this explication of Napoleon's evils, Johnson also provides a biography of his military career, his victories and setbacks, his political state, his term as Emperor of France, and his ultimate downfall. Reviewer John Attarian, writing in the World and I, commented that Napoleon "has the virtues and defects of Johnson's other works: outstanding readability, nuggets of common sense and wisdom, but also unevenness, factual errors, and an overall shallowness."
Art: A New History offers a wide-ranging history of Western art and the effects of art from the rest of the world on the art of the West. In Johnson's definition, art "means physical art objects: painting, architecture, and sculpture, in about that order of emphasis, but also mosaic, stained glass, landscaping, and even tattooing and body painting," commented John J. Reilly in First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life. David Gelernter, writing in Commentary, noted: "Architecture is clearly Johnson's favorite art, and the chapters on architecture are the best" in the book. However, Johnson covers a wide range of types and styles of art, from Paleolithic times to the twentieth century, including ancient Near Eastern art, Greek and Roman art, medieval art, and Renaissance art. He provides a particular focus on twentieth-century fine art and the artists who created it. Johnson also takes some surprising positions, including his assertion that Picasso was an imposter as an artist, "a manufacturer of fashion objects on an industrial scale," Reilly related. In this way, Gelernter observed: "Johnson's [history] is brilliant when he is skillfully hacking away at the poisonous vines that clutch at art's tall trees; it is cranky when he makes too free with the machete and prunes away masterpieces, too." Though some readers may disagree with Johnson's assessments about particular artists or art styles, the "power of this book transcends questions of agreement," commented Roger Kimball in the National Review. "It lies partly in Johnson's gifts as a narrative historian: Few writers have his ability to make the texture of human reality snap into focus," Kimball continued. The book "is extraordinary in part because his eye is sharp, his prose is dangerous to opponents, and his book is formidable in every way," asserted Gelernter. Kimball concluded that Art is "a book to which readers will frequently return. It was conceived in joy and is a joy to read."
The Vanished Landscape: A 1930s Childhood in the Potteries is Johnson's memoir of his childhood growing up in a region of industrial Britain called the Potteries, where skilled potters and workers in clay fired kilns and made works of art and utility. Though the smoky landscape, the flames and sparks from the potteries, and the dreary visuals of the area created what some might think a hellish image, Johnson instead recalls the Potteries as being almost paradisiacal, where front doors "were left unlocked, religion flourished and the prison population was only about five per cent of what it is today," related Andrew Barrow in the Spectator. He recounts his early life, describes his intellectual Catholic parents, his pleasurable childhood, and the innocence that accompanied him through his youth. "This neat, well-turned narrative is thrown together with the dexterity and assurance you would expect from a man who grew up among some of the greatest potters of his day," concluded Barrow.
George Washington: The Founding Father presents a "beautifully cogent, enthrallingly perceptive," and "startlingly fresh take on the ultimate American icon," the country's legendary first president, noted Brad Hooper in Booklist. Johnson offers a balanced perspective on Washington, lending praise where it is due, such as in areas related to Washington's genius and his tremendous historical importance, and providing criticism over aspects of Washington's life and personality, such as his status as a slaveholder and his inflated reputation as a military tactician. Johnson provides a clear assessment of Washington's life, military career, and irreplaceable impact on the development of the just-born United States. School Library Journal reviewer Ted Westervelt commented that Johnson's "well-written and well-thought-out interpretations" of Washington and his times will be of interest to readers and students interested in both Washington and the society in which he lived. Hooper concluded that the biography is a "breathtaking treatment in its clarity and sheerness."
In Creators: From Chaucer and Dürer to Picasso and Disney Johnson embarks on a search for individuals who could be considered creative heroes, and emerges with biographical sketches covering thirteen creators from six centuries of history. He covers notables in music, painting, literature, and more, including William Shakespeare, Albrecht Dürer, Johann Sebastian Bach, and others. A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that Johnson's "approach is unfailingly generous, and his sections on Hamlet and Austen are genuinely revealing."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Johnson, Paul, The Vanished Landscape: A 1930s Childhood in the Potteries, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 2004.
American Spectator, April, 1998, John O'Sullivan, review of A History of the American People, p. 68.
Atlantic, August, 1983, Stephen Spender, review of Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Eighties, p. 98.
Booklist, August, 2000, Gilbert Taylor, review of The Renaissance: A Short History, p. 2106; May 1, 2005, Brad Hooper, review of George Washington: The Founding Father, p. 1562.
Christian Science Monitor, June 23, 1991, Merle Rubin, review of The Birth of the Modern: World Society, 1815–1830, p. 13; September 12, 1996, review of The Quest for God, p. 13.
Commentary, July, 1992, Norman Gall, review of The Birth of the Modern, p. 54; January, 2004, David Gelernter, review of Art: A New History, p. 55.
Commonweal, March 27, 1998, Chris Appy, review of A History of the American People, p. 22.
Economist, October 8, 1988, review of Intellectuals, p. 91; October 7, 1989, review of Workers versus Pensioners: Intergenerational Justice in an Ageing World, p. 110.
First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religious and Public Life, March, 2004, John J. Reilly, "Art's Truth," review of Art, p. 49.
Forbes, April 6, 1998, Steve Forbes, review of A History of the American People, p. 28.
Foreign Affairs, July-August, 1998, David C. Hendrickson, review of A History of the American People, p. 118.
History Today, December, 2002, Adam Fox, review of Napoleon, p. 54.
Insight on the News, September 2, 2003, Stephen Goode, "Napoleon's Legacy Leads to the Gulag," review of Napoleon, p. 36.
National Review, April 21, 1989, Joseph Sobran, review of Intellectuals; March 9, 1998, Michael Lind, review of A History of the American People, p. 59; November 24, 2003, Roger Kimball, "The Great Makers," review of Art, p. 44.
New Criterion, April, 1998, Hadley Arkes, "Paul Johnson's America," p. 12.
New Republic, August 12, 1991, Lawrence Stone, review of The Birth of the Modern, p. 36.
New Statesman, October 7, 1988, Michael Wood, review of Intellectuals, p. 32.
New Statesman & Society, September 20, 1991, Stephen Howe, review of The Birth of the Modern, p. 44; March 15, 1996, Peter Stanford, review of The Quest for God: A Personal Pilgrimage, p. 32.
Newsweek, August 22, 1983, Jonathan Alter, review of Modern Times, p. 67; March 2, 1998, Kenneth Auchincloss, review of A History of the American People, p. 78.
New Yorker, June 10, 1991, review of The Birth of the Modern, p. 112; May 20, 1996, Ian Buruma, review of The Quest for God, p. 93.
New York Times Book Review, June 26, 1983, review of Modern Times, p. 1; April 19, 1987, Arthur Hertzberg, review of A History of the Jews, p. 11; March 12, 1989, Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty, review of Intellectuals, p. 3; June 23, 1991, Eugen Weber, review of The Birth of the Modern, p. 3; February 27, 1994, Newgate Callendar, review of "Operation Remission," p. 20; June 2, 1996, Kenneth L. Woodward, review of The Quest for God, p. 22; March 1, 1998, Pauline Maier, "The Do-It-Yourself Society," review of A History of the American People, p. 12.
New York Times Magazine, March 15, 1998, Jacob Weisberg, "The Courtly Contrarian," p. 34.
Publishers Weekly, May 1, 1987, Michele Field, interview with Paul Johnson, p. 50; January 13, 1989, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of Intellectuals, p. 83; February 23, 1990, review of Intellectuals, p. 234; February 13, 2006, review of Creators, p. 74.
School Library Journal, September, 2005, Ted Westervelt, review of George Washington, p. 246.
Society, March-April, 1999, David Clarke, review of A History of the American People, p. 94.
Spectator, March 30, 1996, Rosalind Miles, review of The Quest for God, p. 29; October 23, 2004, Andrew Barrow, "A Paradise of Smoke and Sparks," review of The Vanished Landscape: A 1930's Childhood in the Potteries, p. 48.
Times (London, England), October 7, 1988, Jaroslaw Anders, review of Intellectuals, p. 1117.
Times Literary Supplement, April 22, 1988, Wilfrid Mellers, review of Stravinsky Retrospectives, p. 445; October 7, 1988, Jaroslaw Anders, review of Intellectuals, p. 1117; January 26, 1990, Peter Laslett, review of Workers versus Pensioners, p. 100; February 23, 1990, Peter Willmott and Peter Laslett, review of Workers versus Pensioners, p. S7.
Weekly Standard, July 4, 2005, Gordon S. Wood, review of George Washington, p. 27.
World and I, October, 2002, John Attarian, "The Rise and Fall of an Egotist," review of Napoleon, p. 234.
Booknotes, http://www.booknotes.org/ (May 29, 2006), Brian Lamb, interview with Paul Johnson.
Reference.com, http://www.reference.com/ (May 29, 2006), biography of Paul Johnson.