Stuart Hood, Twentieth-Century Partisan
This collection introduces the reader to the life and times of Stuart Hood (1915-2011). Highlighting Hood’s year spent fighting with the Italian Resistance during the Second World War, the essays consider how his experiences as a partisan influenced his peacetime trajectory. Written by distinguished scholars from several disciplines, each chapter examines different aspects of Hood’s life and work, including his Scottish boyhood and university education in Edinburgh; his distinguished career as a broadcaster presiding over an era of unprecedented creativity at BBC television; his role in the establishment of the discipline of media studies; and his contribution to radical European culture as the translator of 40 literary works from Italian, German, French and Russian, and as the author of eight acclaimed novels. Stuart Hood’s reticence made him an enigma to many who knew him. This collection assesses his many-faceted achievements, demonstrating how his life provides fresh insights into twentieth-century European history.
This book will appeal to readers interested in the history of British and European socialism, media studies and literature.
David Hutchison is Honorary Professor in Media Policy at Glasgow Caledonian University. His publications include Media Policy (1999) and Scotland’s Referendum and the Media (as co-editor; 2016). He has been a member of the BBC’s General Advisory Council and chair of Regional Screen Scotland.
David Johnson is Professor of Literature in the Department of English and Creative Writing at the Open University, UK. He is the author of Shakespeare and South Africa (1996), Imagining the Cape Colony (2012), and Dreaming of Freedom in South Africa (2019).
“Stuart Hood’s life is fascinating. He was a participant in many critical events of the last century, of which he revealed little. A fighter with Italian partisans, an intellectual, a novelist, active in Trotskyist politics yet a figure of the BBC establishment—it is hard to think of someone so intriguing or so enigmatic. I look forward to learning more about this extraordinary man.”
“Stuart Hood was an extraordinary figure. A partisan in Italy in the Second World War, writer of fiction and non-fiction, acute cultural commentator, leading figure in the BBC, academic, a brilliant translator and much more besides. This collection of sparkling essays, the first to look at Hood’s life and works in an in-depth way, provides context and analysis and a flavour of Hood’s talents and contributions in so many fields.”
Professor of Modern Italian History, University of Bristol
“War hero, polyglot, novelist, pioneering media scholar, educator, Stuart Hood was also, as Tony Garnett put it, “the most influential Marxist working in the senior management of the BBC” and one of the most fascinating, and reticent, figures in British broadcasting’s first century. The long-overdue essays in Stuart Hood: Twentieth Century Partisan were prompted by two small conferences. […] Throughout the vagaries of his day-job journey as broadcaster and educator, Hood also had a second life as a person of letters. He was a skilled translator from Italian, German, French and Russian and an accomplished, if rather overlooked, novelist – to both of which Stuart Hood: Twentieth Century Partisan pays astute attention. […] As this collection makes clear, there can be few late 20th century media figures more deserving of a full-scale biography.”
Professor, University of Lincoln; British Journalism Review, Vol. 32, No. 2
“This collection of essays is a fitting tribute to a polymathic figure of postwar British culture, with each contribution exploring specific aspects of Stuart Hood’s intellectual and professional action while also successfully evoking a richly detailed context in which to situate Hood’s multifarious and impactful output.”
Daniela La Penna
University of Reading, UK; Modern Italy (2022), 1-2
“There is still a case for a full biography which would investigate more fully the personal and political life of this enigmatic figure, who remained free
of hubris while he won respect in so many, highly varied fields. This future biographer will be glad to have at hand this highly commendable, stimulating
collection which does full justice to the writer and his public life.”
Professor, University of Strathclyde
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