1921 - 2013

Writing as: Norman MacKenzie

According to Wikipedia: "Norman Ian MacKenzie was a British journalist, educationalist and historian who helped the Open University (OU) in the late 1960s.

MacKenzie was born in New Cross, south-east London in 1921, the son of Thomas Butson MacKenzie (1881–1962), a tailor who sold drapery door-to-door, and later a local government official, and his wife, Alice Marguerita, née Williamson (1884–1957). He attended Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham Boys' School, the local Grammar School.

In 1939, MacKenzie won a scholarship at the London School of Economics (LSE), graduating with a first-class honours degree in government. At LSE he impressed Harold Laski, the Professor of Political Science and a Labour Party activist. It was whilst a student that he joined the Independent Labour Party and briefly the Communist Party of Great Britain, but quickly became dismayed at their eagerness to place members into the armed Forces and public services.

In 1940, while a student at LSE, MacKenzie volunteered for part-time military service in the Home Guard (during World War II). He trained in guerrilla warfare at Osterley Park in west London and was a member of group that then went to Sussex and were to perform behind-the-lines sabotage and guerrilla activity in the event of a German invasion. He was also a member of the Political Warfare Executive that broadcast propaganda via radio to Germany. In 1942 MacKenzie was called up for service in the RAF, interrupting his studies at the LSE, but after four months he was invalided out of the RAF due to a stomach ulcer.

MacKenzie wrote a number of books, with his first wife, Jeanne Sampson, including well received biographies of H.G. Wells (1973) and Charles Dickens (1979) and he edited the diaries of Beatrice Webb (1982–85). He also wrote about socialism. He co-wrote several novels set during the Napoleonic wars with the ITN television newsreader Antony Brown (born 1922), under the joint pseudonym Anthony Forrest."

Series Books