Tina Brown on Weinstein, War and Peace and the fall of democracyby Prospect Team / December 13, 2017 / Leave a comment
First news/historical event you can recall?
The assassination of Bobby Kennedy when I was at boarding school 6th June 1968 made the most impression. All the weeping girls in the dorm.
The book you are most embarrassed you’ve never read?
War and Peace. There has never been a holiday long enough.
The best & worst presents you’ve ever received
Best, a complete set of Orwell first editions. Worst, an enormous aluminium safe when I asked for a jewel box. Both were from Harry. [Tina Brown is married to celebrated former Sunday Times editor, Harold Evans.]
One bit of advice you’d give to your younger self?
Learn to speak in public.
What is your favourite saying or quotation?
“He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas.”
Where do you want to be buried/have your ashes scattered?
Wherever Harry’s are.
If you were given £1m to spend on other people, what would you spend it on and why?
On funding sponsors and job coaches for disabled young people. They can do so much and no one gives them a chance.
The talent you wish you had?
What do you most regret?
Going into business with Harvey Weinstein after I left the New Yorker.
What is the biggest problem of all?
The rise of the Strong Men and America’s retreat from the world. Everywhere we look it is toxic testosterone from Trump to Duterte to Erdoğan to Putin. The only calming factor is Angela Merkel in her purpose-built pants suit and now we find she is under threat, which is horrible to even think about.
Are things getting better or worse?
Sorry, I am in Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire mood. It feels like western society is destroying itself between partisan politics, sexual harassment and the rise of white supremacy. There’s still Justin Trudeau to dream about. But sadly that’s not enough.
The last piece of music/play/novel/film that brought you to tears?
Sally Wainwright’s television film on the Brontës, To Walk Invisible. The agony of how trapped the sisters were was deeply moving.
The Vanity Fair Diaries by Tina Brown is published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson and is also available as an eBook and an audiobook
An earlier version of this article wrongly stated that Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in 1969.