Anthony Sampson

Anthony Sampson

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).


* "Anatomy of Britain" (1962)
* "Anatomy of Britain today" (1965)
* "The New Anatomy of Britain" (1971)
* "Changing Anatomy of Britain" (1982)
* "The Essential Anatomy of Britain: Democracy in Crisis " (1992)
* "The New Europeans" (1968)
* "The Sovereign State of ITT" (1973)
* "The Seven Sisters" (a study of the international oil industry) (1975)
* "The Arms Bazaar" (a study of the international arms trade) (1977)
* "The Money Lenders" (a study of international banking) (1981)
* "Black Gold" (about the crumbling of apartheid and the business/financial picture in South Africa) (1987)
* "Company Man" (a study of corporate life) (1995)
* "" (1999), winner of the Alan Paton Award
* "" (2004)

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

* [,14173,1377977,00.html "Anthony Sampson" (obituary)] John Thompson, "The Guardian", 21 December 2004.
* [ Anthony Sampson's resume]

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