Rob Hartmans is historicus en journalist. Hij publiceert met grote regelmaat in De Groene Amsterdammer en is vooral geïnteresseerd in de wijze waarop intellectuelen opereren op het snijvlak van cultuur en politiek. Van zijn hand verscheen eerder: Vaarwel dan! Over intellectuelen en hun illusies (2000).
The Dutch weekly paper The Green Amsterdammer which later became just The Green [De Groene] was established in 1877 and still exists today. In 2002 the author published a history of this political and cultural newspaper for the 'better educated' reader. It is a paper that has remained influential despite its repeated financial problems and the small readership. In this article he considers the weekly's attitude to objectivity and engagement over the last 125 years. Although it has never been a commercial success it is shown that it was rather important who was the owner of the paper. The respective owners themselves did not write much in The Green but usually gave direction in the background to this liberal paper which had no official final editor for a long period of time (or even a colophon). The spirit of the time as well as the personal capacities and convictions of the editors - and especially in the seventies of the contributors - had a great influence on the outcome of the weekly. Both this aspect and the antagonism or cooperation are worked out in this article. Since the mid 1980s The Green has again become a liberal and open paper after the sixties and seventies had made it an agitating weekly