Palgrave Macmillan Author Perspectives

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The Statesman's Yearbook: 150 years on by Barry Turner

In 2013 Palgrave Macmillan celebrated the 150th anniversary of The Statesman’s Yearbook. Barry Turner, the seventh editor in the 150-year history of The Statesman's Yearbook, shared his thoughts on this momentous anniversary.

On the editorial side of SYB – in fact, on all sides of SYB – we’re in celebratory mood because we are on the 150th anniversary of this remarkable publication.

It really is amazing that The Statement’s Yearbook is 150 years old. I think the people who initiated it, who started it all that time ago, couldn’t bring themselves to believe that it would last so long. I think it what it is interesting about The Statesman’s Yearbook is it was obviously when it started 1864 and is still valuable now, because no other product brings so much information together in one single volume and on an accompanying website. So, the people who used The Statesman’s Yearbook, right at the beginning, for the central facts about the world, the facts that were available then (there weren’t too many of course) are the same sort of people as today who find The Statesman’s Yearbook valuable. The available “now” huge amount of information about every country is still available in that single handy volume, bigger and thicker.

The great virtue of the website, of course, is that we can update all the time. You’ve got the volume, which lasts for a year and then another one comes out. The website is updated every month so, as the world facts change we can register that and we can put them on the website so that everybody is kept up-to-date with the central information – that’s the important thing. The other important thing, of course, is that we objective. You look across the website that are available…so many of them have a special interest to promote, ideas to put across that are linked to one particular interest group, but here what we are trying to do is put together the facts and actually displaying them and put them across in a thoroughly objective way. We are trying to take current events as they are.

To see the video clip of Barry Turner on the 150th anniversary of The Statesman’s Yearbook, please click here.

© SpringerBarry Turner is the seventh editor in the 150-year history of The Statesman's Yearbook. He has a PhD in Political History and has been a full-time writer for 30 years. He has worked as a journalist and broadcaster in the field of politics, biography, travel and education, and is the author of over 20 books. He is a regular contributor to The Times as a book reviewer and serializer.