Category: Writer

Alastair Borthwick, Chronicler of Britain’s 20th Century

Alastair Borthwick was a substantial if somewhat underrated literary talent, whose achievements in various media gave human face to the tribulations of mid-20th century Great Britain. Born in Lanarkshire, Borthwick was raised in Troon, Ayrshire. He became a copy taker for the Evening Times at the age of 16 and quickly took over a wide range of editorial responsibilities. 

He first came to public attention in the 1930s for his open-air articles on rock climbing. Borthwick’s vivid account of this bracing sport helped weary urbanites escape the doldrums of daily life. As the author put it, “One cannot sweat and worry simultaneously.” By the mid-1930s, he had successfully transitioned into radio, delighting audiences with crisp, bracing accounts of outdoorsmanship. 

When WWII broke out, Borthwick eagerly enlisted and was enlisted with the 51st Highland Division’s 5th Seaforth Highlanders in Africa and Europe. He rose eventually to the rank of captain and served mainly as battalion intelligence officer. His writing career was not wholly neglected during this time, however. Two of his classics, Always A Little Further and Sans Peur, were written close to the war years. Both were later republished; Sans Peur is considered a classic of military history.

After the war, Borthwick moved into a small cottage in the country with his wife, Anne, and fathered a son, Patrick. The BBC awarded Borthwick a contract for a series on Scotland, Scottish Survey, which ran for three years. Borthwick won an OBE for his presentation on the festival of heavy engineering in Glasgow, which coincided with the 1951 Festival of Britain. 

By the 1960s, Borthwick contributed a weekly column to the News Chronicle, but had largely transitioned into television. His show on Grampian TV featured reports on notables from Bonnie Prince Charlie to Senator Joe McCarthy. Borthwick was especially fond of 13-part series, Scottish Soldier, which narrated the personal experiences of Scottish infantry regiments.

Alastair Borthwick Has Been Around

Alastair Borthwick Has Seen Many A Thing


Alastair Borthwick has seen many different situations over the course of his life. He has mulled over the different situations that have gone on economically, domestically, and politically. He may be somewhat interested in how economics and war and other situations tie in together. For instance, one can realize the recent financial crisis which took place in 2008, it was a scary time for all. While there may have been a sign of a significant comeback within the financial markets through stock buybacks, tax help for corporations and wealthy individuals, and other policy and other ways to boost growth. The fact of the matter is that interest rates were down from post-2008 to 2017. The rates were only raised gradually from 2017 to 2018 where it was then reduced slightly with more chances of it being reduced in the near future.


Most do not expect interest rates to rise so as long as people are worried about corporate earnings declines, stores shutting down, jobs declining, etc. Some people may believe that economic performance on aggregate has been downright awful. Economic growth in the developed world may be in the overall doldrums and these doldrums may stick with us for quite some time.


People like Alastair Borthwick realize that many things in life are interlinked and that many people may be surprised by what does have a cause on different situations and what doesn’t.


For instance, Alastair Borthwick would probably realize that productivity growth seems to somewhat stagnant as well. It seems that it is in one of the saddest states. Furthermore, corporate investment does not seem to be as strong as it was in the past either.


Incomes may not have appreciated as much expected either, some may even think that incomes have fallen slightly prior to 2008 levels. Growth is only seen when external economic stimulus is present, and if this is the case, it may be even more telling.


People like Alastair Borthwick may look into safe havens for their investments as they have seen how wars come to be and what causes them. But while of these situations are present, those who were investors in stocks would see a significant rally. Financial assets seem to be in a bit of a bull state and don’t seem to be in any sort of pullback either. Investors can see that real estate, stocks, infrastructure, debt, treasuries, and other aspects are going strong.


Everything seems to go well overall in the current economy and that may worry people who have seen a variety of things within their life like Alastair Borthwick.


The Greyhound Diaries Represent the Face of America

The Greyhound Diaries is the story of the highways of America as experienced by Doug Levitt as he travels by Greyhound Bus. The Diaries cover more than 100,000 Greyhound Bus miles while Doug Levitt chronicles the tales of his travels, songs of his journey and capturing the images of America. The trip gives Levitt the opportunity to see America up close and personal and meet the citizens who venture forth to ride the bus.


When Levitt returned to the states from overseas, he saw an America that had changed. He saw poverty and citizens struggling to make a go at life. The stories demonstrate there is more commonality throughout the diverse land than most are aware of. The stories and songs have a way of connecting people on all levels and in a sense create a portrait of all people.


The Greyhound Diaries has spawned several records, published writing’s, web series, a one man show and photo exhibits. He has taken more than 20,000 images and has performed the Diaries at venues such as the University of California, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Woody Guthrie Center, Walter Reed Army Hospital, the Kennedy Center and numerous homeless shelters across America.


Doug Levitt is an American songwriter and singer. He started out as a foreign correspondent and switched gears while working in London. Mr. Levitt is a product of the public school system in Washington, D.C. and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School. He attended Cornel University where one of his professors was the late renowned astrophysicist Carl Sagan. Levitt went on to receive a Fulbright Scholarship and earned a Masters in International Relations at the London School of Economics.


Levitt found music has the ability to speak to everyday issues and topics that may otherwise be difficult and turn it into something that is beautiful and understandable. The people he encountered and the stories he heard has helped him come to terms with his father’s suicide when Doug was 16 years old. He sees the Diaries as a process to identify and demonstrate that there is a world outside of the political spectrum he experienced while living in D.C. and showing people there is more commonality that anyone thinks.