For parts of my childhood on a sunny wooded hillside in California, we got our international news from this damp country where I now live, in the overseas weekly edition of what was then called the Manchester Guardian. We got that paper not because my parents had any connection to England – neither of them had even been there, or done any foreign travel at all other than my father’s time in the Pacific during the war. But it was still the depth of the Cold War and the escalation of the Vietnam war and the perspectives on international affairs published in US daily newspapers were, shall we say, limited. Hence the subscription.
So my breast wells warm with nostalgia to see in today’s Guardian that the US Army is blocking access to the Guardian on large parts of its network: the paper is still playing the same role of bringing in news that’s a bit hard to find at home.
I assume your subscription brought the same very white, crinkly paper that mine did at college. It was unlike any paper I’ve seen elsewhere, with the possible exception of the t.p. in bathrooms of the PRO at Kew. I loved having that version of the news come to my dormitory every week as we built up our knowledge to rise up against the Vietnam War; I’m loyal to the Guardian website but I do miss the sound of reading the printed version. My subscription was a course requirement in 1963 or 1964 for my British history class with the wonderful Jean Wilson (though I’m sure she had not required it of us for the purpose of learning about the war). Your mother may have studied with Jean Wilson; mine did.
Yes, it was on that wonderful paper. It must have been air-mailed in bundles around the world.