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Drivel in the history

Donald Read’s The Power of News was indeed a fine book, but I always had problems with this - and I’ll try to be kind here - rather stereotypical passage (page 70, 1992 edition): “Reuters was well known; but its managing director during these years, Baron Herbert de Reuter (1852-1915), was never a public figure like his father. Baron Herbert was educated at Harrow and Balliol College, Oxford, and was thoroughly ‘English’ in his view of the world. He did not appear to be Jewish, for his complexion was fresh and his eyes blue.”

I couldn’t believe my own blue eyes when I first read it, and I’ve always had a hard time understanding how such drivel ever made it into the company’s official history. ■