McIntyre, Ian 1931–

views updated

McIntyre, Ian 1931–

(Ian James McIntyre)

PERSONAL: Born December 9, 1931, in Banchory, Kincardineshire, Scotland; son of Hector Harold and Annie Mary Michie (Ballater) McIntyre; married Leik Sommerfelt Vogt, 1954; children: Andrew, Neil, Anne, Katherine. Education: St. John's College, Cambridge, B.A., 1953; M.A., 1960; attended College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium, 1953–54.

ADDRESSES: Home—Spylaw House, Newlands Ave., Radlett, Hertfordshire WD7 8EL, England. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer, editor, and broadcaster. Commissioned in the Intelligence Corps, 1955–57; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), 1957–61 and 1970–87, began as current affairs talks producer, 1957, served in various capacities, including writer and broadcaster, 1970–76, controller of BBC Radio 4, 1976–78, and controller of BBC Radio 3, 1978–87; At Home and Abroad, editor, 1959; Independent Television Authority, program services officer, 1961; Times (newspaper), London, England, associate editor, 1989–90. Member of staff of the Conservative Party in Scotland, 1962–70; director of Information and Research.

MEMBER: Beefsteak Club, Cambridge Union.

WRITINGS:

NONFICTION

The Proud Doers: Israel after Twenty Years, British Broadcasting Corp. (London, England), 1968.

(Contributor, with Michael Hadow and Chaim Herzog) Israel Today: Three Lectures, Anglo-Israel Association (London, England), 1970.

(Editor and contributor) Words: Reflections on the Uses of Language, British Broadcasting Corp. (London, England), 1975.

Dogfight: The Transatlantic Battle over Airbus, Praeger (Westport, CT), 1992.

The Expense of Glory: A Life of John Reith, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1993.

Dirt and Deity: A Life of Robert Burns, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.

Garrick, Penguin Putnam (New York, NY), 1999.

Joshua Reynolds: The Life and Times of the First President of the Royal Academy, Allen Lane (London, England), 2003.

Also contributor of articles to periodicals, including the Listener, the Times, and the Independent.

SIDELIGHTS: Scottish journalist and author Ian McIntyre has had a long and distinguished career with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and has penned several books during the course of his career, including biographies of BBC founder John Reith and eighteenth-century Scottish poet Robert Burns.

McIntyre's first book was a study of the nation of Israel, published in 1968. The Proud Doers: Israel after Twenty Years was published soon after Israel surprised the world by swiftly defeating her Arab neighbors in the Middle East War of 1967. Peter Mansfield, reviewing the work in the Listener, questioned McIntyre's objectivity but praised The Proud Doers as being "of the highest standard of intelligent and perceptive reporting."

In The Expense of Glory: A Life of John Reith, McIntyre studied the life of the first Director-General of the BBC, who established many of the high standards in programming for which the corporation has become known. Reith's own diary was published after his death, but only in a greatly edited form. For his biography of Reith, however, McIntyre had access to the unabridged manuscript. He reveals much about Reith's personal vindictiveness, a possible homosexual affair in his youth with a younger boy named Charlie Bowser, and odd infatuations during his later years with a series of female secretaries and personal assistants. The Expense of Glory was widely praised by reviewers. "McIntyre's biography," declared John Dugdale in the New Statesman & Society, "besides vividly depicting a personality as mesmerisingly complex as any hero of twentieth-century fiction—is an important tool for those who seek to shape the post-Reithian future" of the BBC. An Economist contributor added that McIntyre "has a good clear style and an eye for detail," though he expressed the wish that the author had given more attention to Reith's government work under Prime Minister Winston Churchill. E.S. Turner, writing in the Times Literary Supplement, concluded that Expense of Glory is a "judicious and unblinking book."

In 1996, McIntyre's Dirt and Deity: A Life of Robert Burns was published. Burns was one of Scotland's most famous and revered poets; but, as an Economist reviewer noted while discussing McIntyre's book, previous biographies have generally tried to emphasize only one side of a widely versatile writer and claim that side as the true Burns. Burns penned both haunting love ballads and bawdy verse; lines filled with political passion and cynical practicality. He was also a womanizer who fathered many children, both legitimate and illegitimate. The Economist contributor praised Dirt and Deity as "cheeringly level-headed" and added that "McIntyre glides over none of the shame." The reviewer went on to note, "But he isn't stabbing or demolishing, and his judgments are just."

In Garrick, the author recounts the life of the famous eighteenth century English actor who was a devotee of Shakespeare's plays. A Contemporary Review contributor commented that the book introduces the reader "to a man who continues to fascinate and charm." Joshua Reynolds: The Life and Times of the First President of the Royal Academy delves into the life of the eighteenth-century British painter known primarily for his portraits. Writing in the New Statesman, Lynn Barber commented that the book is "a useful biography of a useful man." Spectator contributor Christopher Woodward called the book "excellent" and went on to note, "McIntyre's research into archival sources is remarkable, his writing is witty and sensitive, and what he adds, above all, to art historical studies is to reveal just how critical an ingredient Reynolds's insight into human nature was to his better portraits."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Apollo, October, 2003, Francis Russel, review of Joshua Reynolds: The Life and Times of the First President of the Royal Academy, p. 60.

Contemporary Review, June, 2000, review of Garrick, p. 335.

Economist, September 25, 1993, review of The Expense of Glory: A Life of John Reith, pp. 102, 105-106; February 10, 1996, review of Dirt and Deity: A Life of Robert Burns, p. 85.

Listener, February 20, 1969, Peter Mansfield, review of The Proud Doers: Israel after Twenty Years, pp. 243-244.

London Review of Books, October 21, 1993, review of The Expense of Glory, p. 9.

New Statesman, June 16, 2003, Lynn Barber, review of Joshua Reynolds, p. 51.

New Statesman & Society, September 24, 1993, John Dugdale, review of The Expense of Glory, p. 54.

Spectator, July 9, 2003, Christopher Woodward, review of Joshua Reynolds, p. 34.

Times Literary Supplement, October 8, 1993, E.S. Turner, review of The Expense of Glory, p. 31.

About this article

McIntyre, Ian 1931–

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article