Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson died and I wanted to pay tribute to him and his work, in particular this book, Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Eighties. I read it as a young woman and really felt I had found a response – or maybe a counterbalance – to so much of the complacency and received wisdom I was seeing around me. He was a species that we need and lack – a self-taught popular historian, and also an object lesson in an intellectual who understood that intellectuals are bad. Perhaps Andrew Roberts is the closest person we have to that now.