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Wednesday 4 November 2020


Lionel Barber

Former editor of the Financial Times

The Powerful and the Damned: Private Diaries in Turbulent Times

Join Lionel Barber, in conversation with FT Editor Roula Khalaf, for a no-holds barred account of life behind the headlines, and a riveting portrait of power in times of crisis. At the helm of the most important business newspaper in the world, Barber documented the tech boom, the financial crisis, the rise of China, Brexit, populism and the rise of fake news.

Lionel Barber

Lionel was editor of the Financial Times from 2005 to January 2020. During this time Barber helped solidify the FT’s position as one of the first publishers to successfully transform itself into a multi-channel news organisation in addition to winning numerous global prizes for its journalism, including Newspaper of the Year, Overseas Press Club, Gerald Loeb and Society of Publishers in Asia awards.

Barber has co-written several books and has lectured widely on foreign policy, transatlantic relations, European security and monetary union in the US and Europe and appears regularly on TV and radio around the world.  Whilst editor, he interviewed many of the world’s leaders in business and politics, including: US President Barack Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President of Iran Hassan Rouhani.

Barber has received several distinguished awards, including the St George Society medal of honour for his contribution to journalism in the transatlantic community. He serves on the Board of Trustees at the Tate and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Roula Khalaf

Roula is Editor of the Financial Times. She was previously deputy editor from 2016 to 2020, overseeing a range of newsroom initiatives and award winning editorial projects and leading a global network of over 100 foreign correspondents.

Before taking up the deputy editor role, Khalaf was the FT’s foreign editor and oversaw the FT’s operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Before that, as Middle East editor, she launched a Middle East edition and led coverage of the Arab Spring. Khalaf was named foreign commentator of the year at the Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards in 2016 and her series on Qatar won the Foreign Press Association’s Feature story of the year in 2013. She joined the FT in 1995 as North Africa correspondent and before that was a staff writer for Forbes magazine in New York.

"I was a privileged interlocutor to people in power, each offering unique insights into high-level decision-making and political calculation, often in moments of crisis. These diaries offer snapshots of leadership in an age of upheaval. I’m delighted to have WH Allen publishing the book."

Lionel Barber