Bryan Magee

Bryan Magee

Born in Hoxton, England, near London on April 12, 1930 to parents Frederick and Sheila, Magee lived for nine years in the inner-city.  With the advance of World War II, Magee became an evacuee and attended a boarding school on scholarship.  With his father he had an enduring and loving relationship, and so Magee was devastated when he passed away, leaving his abusive mother to raise him.  That she didn't do because Magee stayed on at school to advance himself and avoid his mother.  He later joined the National Service in the Army, working in the Army Intelligence Corps and looking for spies along the Yugoslavian and Austrian border.  After his time in the military, he returned to London for more education, earning a B.A. and a M.A. from Oxford.  Magee also spent time in graduate study at Yale University.

Returning to Britain after Yale, Magee set his hopes on becoming a member of Parliament.  When this didn't work, he turned to television as a presenter of documentaries.  Along the way, Magee struck up a friendship with the philosopher Karl Popper, and this greatly influenced his thinking, his future, and his writings.  Though he eventually obtained a seat in Parliament with the Labour Party, he realized that he wasn't in touch with Labour's choice of direction.  Hence, Magee turned to the new Social Democratic Party and a couple years later lost his seat.

A serious man, Magee resumed writing and broadcasting.  An author at heart, Magee needed employment to allow him the pleasure of writing, for he couldn't live on his writing alone.  Regardless, Magee's contribution to society is impressive.  Through his books and television series, Magee imparted his fascination with and knowledge of philosophy to a wide audience.  A theater and music critic, with special emphasis on Wagner, Magee has penned The Tristan Chord: Wagner and Philosophy.  With many more books that he plans to write, Magee spends his time researching and working on getting them all done.



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Story of Philosophy
by Bryan Magee
from DK Publishing
History of Philosophy for 9th-12th grade
in History of Philosophy (Location: XWV-PHI)