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Tom Johnston

(1881—1965) politician and journalist


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Tom Johnston (1881–1965) as a politician and journalist was one of the key figures of 20th-century Scottish history. He was born and raised in Kirkintilloch, Dunbartonshire, the son of a small businessman. He received a solid schooling and subsequently found employment as a clerk. By this time, he had become attracted to the politics of the Fabian Society and the ILP (see Labourism), and in 1903 stood for a local election on the latter's platform. This marked the beginning of Johnston's political career, but in parallel he made his mark as a journalist. While still in his twenties he inherited a printing press and founded a weekly paper, the Forward, which rapidly became the leading socialist organ in Scotland. Johnston's reputation as an incisive propagandist for the labour movement rests on writings such as his attack on the Scottish aristocracy, Our Scots Noble Families (1909), and his substantial study The History of the Working Classes in Scotland (1920).

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From The Oxford Companion to Scottish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: British History.



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