Karen Armstrong is one of the world's leading commentators on religious affairs. She spent seven years as a Roman Catholic nun in the 1960s, but then left her teaching order in 1969 to read English at St Anne's College, Oxford. In 1982, she became a full time writer and broadcaster. She is a best-selling author of over 15 books. An accomplished writer and passionate campaigner for religious liberty, Armstrong has addressed members of the United States Congress and the Senate and has participated in the World Economic Forum.
Philip Augar worked in investment banking for over twenty years. He led NatWest's global equity and bond business before becoming a Group Managing Director at Schroders. Since 2000 he has combined consulting and writing. This is his fifth book. He can be contacted at: www.philipaugar.com
Stefan Aust was for many years the editor-in-chief of the political weekly Der Spiegel, Germany's most influential news magazine. He is also the founder and current publisher of Spiegel TV. He worked in the editorial offices of konkret from 1966 to 1969 and played a part in the events described in this book. Between 1970 and 1985 he made numerous documentaries for North German Television. He wrote the script for the feature film Stammheim, which won the top award at the 1986 Berlin Film Festival. He worked with Bernd Eichinger on the script for the film The Baader-Meinhof Complex (2008), which is based on this book.
Joel Bakan is professor of law at the University of British Columbia. A Rhodes Scholar and former law clerk to Chief Justice Brian Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada, he holds law degrees from Oxford, Harvard and Dalhousie Universities. An internationally renowned legal authority, Bakan has written widely on law and its social and economic impact. He is the author of the bestselling and critically-acclaimed The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power.
Philip Ball is a freelance writer and a consultant editor for Nature, where he previously worked as an editor for physical sciences. He writes regularly in the scientific and popular media and his many books include Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads To Another (winner of the 2005 Aventis Prize for Science Books), The Music Instinct, Unnatural: The Heretical Idea of Making People and, most recently, Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything.
Lindsey Barraclough was born in Essex. She worked as a music teacher and lives in London with her husband and their five children. Her debut novel, Long Lankin, was published in 2011 to critical acclaim and was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award, the UKLA Children’s Book Award, the We Read Prize and the Southern Schools Award, and longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Waterstones Book Prize. It was also named one of the best 100 YA novels by the American Young Adult Library Services Association.
John D. Barrow is Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Director of the Millennium Mathematics Project at Cambridge University, Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and the current Gresham Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, London. His principal area of scientific research is cosmology, and he is the author of many highly acclaimed books about the nature and significance of modern developments in physics, astronomy, and mathematics, including The Left Hand of Creation; The Origin of the Universe; The Universe that Discovered Itself; The Infinite Book, The Artful Universe Expanded, New Theories of Everything and, most recently, 100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know. He is also the author of the award-winning play Infinities.
Mark Binelli grew up in Detroit. He graduated from the University of Michigan and received an MFA from Columbia University. He writes for Rolling Stone magazine. He is the author of the novel Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die!
Georgie Birkett has worked on many books for children. Is This My Nose?, published by Red Fox, has been selected for the National Booktrust programme and has been shortlisted for the Baby Books category of the 2008 Booktrust Early Years Awards.
Georgie studied illustration at the University of Brighton and now works in her studio in the Brighton Laines.
PAUL BLOOM is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Pyschology at Yale University. He is the author or editor of six books, including the acclaimed How Pleasure Works. He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching, and his scientific and popular articles have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Nature, The New Yorker, Slate, The Atlantic, Science, Guardian, The Best American Science Writing and many other publications. His TED talk on the origins of pleasure has been viewed more than one million times. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with his wife and two sons. Visit his website at paulbloomatyale.com and follow @paulbloomatyale on twitter.
Archie Brown is Emeritus Professor of Politics at Oxford University. For almost five decades he has written on Soviet and Communist politics, the Cold War, and political leadership. His previous books include The Gorbachev Factor (1996), Seven Years that Changed the World: Perestroika in Perspective (2007) and The Rise and Fall of Communism (Bodley Head, 2009).
Nick Bunker has written for the Liverpool Echoand the Financial Times. He has two graduate degrees from Columbia University in New York, where he studied under the late Professor Edward Said. While at Columbia he began his travels around the United States.
For many years, he served as a board member, treasurer and Chairman of the Trustees of the Freud Museum in London. He now lives in Lincoln.
Jason Burke has been a frontline reporter of Islamic militancy for almost two decades. His bestselling book Al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam (2003), based on direct access to Islamic militants worldwide, overturned a multitude of misconceptions about Islamic extremism and rapidly established itself as the most accurate, readable and expert account of the phenomenon. His most recent book, The 9/11 Wars (2011), was described as ‘the best overview of the 9/11 decade in print’ (Economist). His books have been translated into twelve languages. He is currently south Asia correspondent for the Guardian.
Born in Florence, Roberto Calasso lives in Milan, where he is publisher of Adelphi. He is the author of The Ruin of Kasch, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, which was the winner of the Prix Veillon and the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, Literature and the Gods, Ka and K.
Alastair McEwan has translated more than seventy books of fiction and non-fiction, including works by some of Italy's best-known writers: Baricco, Calasso, Eco, Tabucchi, and many more. He also writes occasional articles in both Italian and English for major newspapers.
Robert A. Caro graduated from Princeton University, later became a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, and was an investigative reporter for Newsday for six years. His first book, The Power Broker, won the Pulitzer Prize in biography. Both The Path to Power and Means of Ascent won the National Book Critics Circle Award as the Best Non-fiction Book of the Year. He has served as President of the Author’s Guild of America and as Vice President of PEN, and currently lives in New York City with his wife.
Nicholas Carr is the author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, a 2011 Pulitzer Prize nominee and a New York Times bestseller, as well as two other influential books, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google (2008) and Does IT Matter? (2004). His books have been translated into more than 20 languages. (www.nicholascarr.com)
Tamasin Cave is a writer, campaigner and commentator. She is a director of Spinwatch, which investigates corporate PR and lobbying, as well as government spin. Since 2007, she has also led the campaign for transparency regulations for lobbyists.
Andy Rowell is an award-winning journalist and author. As a founder-director of Spinwatch, he has been writing about the industry for over twenty years, particularly as it relates to environmental and health issues. He is also a part-time senior research fellow at the University of Bath.
Victor Cha is the former Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council. He was the U.S. Deputy Head of Delegation for the Six Party Talks, concerned with security risks posed by the North Korean weapons programme. During his role as adviser to the White House he spent time in Pyongyang, and is in a unique position to comment on North Korean affairs. He is currently Professor of Government and Asian Studies and Director of Asian Studies at Georgetown University.
Jessie Childs won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography with her first book Henry VIII's Last Victim: The Life and Times of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. She has written and reviewed for several newspapers and magazines, including the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and Literary Review. She took a First in History from the University of Oxford and lives in London with her husband and two daughters. This is her second book. www.jessiechilds.com @childs_jessie
Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT and the author of numerous seminal books, including Manufacturing Consent, Deterring Democracy and Hegemony or Survival. He was voted the world's leading public intellectual in the 2005 Prospect/Foreign Policy poll. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Susan Cooper is a world-renowned author of children's books. Born in 1935 and brought up in England, she worked as a journalist before moving to America, where she now lives. Her fabulous Dark is Rising sequence has won the Newbery Medal and been twice nominated for the Carnegie Medal. As well as writing novels, Susan Cooper also writes successful plays, and screenplays for film and television.
Jo’s first story at the age of five was a festive one entitled ‘Chismas’. After writing a lot of stories about unicorns, she decided at the age of thirteen to become an actress. Her professional acting career was enjoyable but frustrating, so she became a teacher instead, writing stories on the side. Her first book was published in 2004, and she gave up teaching in 2009. Jo now lives in Oxfordshire and fits writing around her young family. She enjoys music and card-making, and is an avid fan of Strictly Come Dancing.
Trevor Cox is Professor of Acoustic Engineering at the University of Salford and President of the Institute of Acoustics. He has presented numerous science radio documentaries and has written for the New Scientist. He is an associate editor for an international journal of acoustics. Twitter: @trevor_cox
LEWIS DARTNELL is a UK Space Agency research fellow at the University of Leicester, in the field of astrobiology and the search for signs of life on Mars. He has won several awards for his science writing, and contributes to the Guardian, The Times and New Scientist. He has also written for television and appeared on BBC Horizon, Sky News, Wonders of the Universe, Stargazing Live, and The Sky at Night.
A tireless populariser of science, his theory on how the heisters could have saved the gold bullion in the cliff-hanging ending of The Italian Job was mocked on Have I Got News For You. His two previous books are Life in the Universe: a Beginner’s Guide and the illustrated children’s book My Tourist’s Guide to the Solar System and Beyond. When the world ends, he will be ready to start again.
Norman Davies C. M. G., F. B. A. is Professor Emeritus of the University of London, a Supernumerary Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, and the author of several books on Polish and European history, including God's Playground, White Eagle, Red Star, The Isles, Microcosm and Europe: East and West.
An Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society, Wade Davis holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. Davis is the author of 15 books including The Serpent and the Rainbow, One River, and The Wayfinders. His many film credits include Light at the Edge of the World, an eight-hour documentary series produced for the National Geographic Channel. In 2009 he received the Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society for his contributions to anthropology and conservation, and he is the 2011 recipient of the Explorers Medal, the highest award of the Explorers' Club. In 2012 he will receive the Fairchild Medal for Plant Exploration.
Christopher de Bellaigue was born in London in 1971, and was educated at Cambridge University, where he read Iranian and Indian Studies. Between 1996 and 2007, he lived and worked as a journalist in south Asia and the Middle East, writing for TheEconomist, the Financial Times, the Independent and the New York Review of Books. He and his Iranian wife, the artist Bita Ghezelayagh, returned from Tehran to the UK in 2007 so that de Bellaigue could take up a fellowship at St Antony's College, Oxford. They now divide their time between London and Tehran.
Joseph Delaney is a retired English teacher living in Lancashire. He has three children and seven grandchildren and is a wonderful public speaker available for conference, library and bookshop events. His home is in the middle of Boggart territory and his village has a boggart called the Hall Knocker, which was laid to rest under the step of a house near the church.
Most of the places in the Spook's books are based on real places in Lancashire. And the inspiration behind the stories often comes from local ghost stories and legends.
Julek Heller was born in 1944 and his Polish parents came to the UK in 1947 as refugees. Married with four children, Julek has been an established artist for fantasy publishing since the 1970s.
Peter Doggett has been writing about popular music and social & cultural history for more than thirty years. His most recent publication, You Never Give Me Your Money, a study of the Beatles' break-up and its traumatic aftermath, was chosen by the Los Angeles Times as one of the 10 Best Books of 2010. His other critically-acclaimed books include his history of rock music's collision with revolutionary politics, There's A Riot Going On; and Are You Ready For The Country, which explored five decades of the relationship between country music and rock. Aside from his writing career, Peter was the Green Party candidate for the Fareham constituency in the 2010 General Election. www.peterdoggett.org
Caroline Elkins is an Assistant Professor of History at Harvard University and the recipient of numerous awards, including a Fulbright and an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship. Her research for Britain's Gulag was the subject of the BBC documentary Kenya: White Terror, which was shown in Britain in November 2002 and was awarded the International Committee of the Red Cross prize at the Monte Carlo Festival. She lives with her family in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In a varied life, David Erdal won a scholarship to Oxford University; was elected as a trade union shop-steward; became for a time a professional communist organiser; worked in Mao's China; became disillusioned with totalitarian systems; distinguished himself at Harvard Business School; led one of Britain's most successful paper manufacturers and moved them into all-employee ownership; and advised companies, trade unions and governments in Slovenia, Zimbabwe, China and South Africa on privatising companies into ownership by all their employees. He gained a PhD in the psychology of sharing from St Andrews University in 2000. He is a director of a partnership that helps companies achieve all-employee buyouts, chairman of the Employee Ownership Trust and chairman of the employee ownership trust of a successful childcare company.
Following a distinguished academic career teaching and studying the history of Europe, Joel Harrington is currently Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. He specializes in the Reformation and early modern Germany, with a particular interest in social history. Among his previous publications are A Cloud of Witnesses, Reordering Marriage and Society in Reformation Germany and The Unwanted Child, for which he won the 2010 Roland Bainton Prize for History.
Orlando Figes is a professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, and former University Lecturer in History at Cambridge. Born in London in 1959, he graduated with a double-starred first in History from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, in 1982. His first book, Peasant Russia, Civil War, was described by one reviewer as 'one of the most important books ever published on the Russian Revolution'.
His website can be found at www.orlandofiges.co.uk
Catherine Fletcher was born in Birkenhead and spent her teenage years in Scotland. She graduated with a First in Politics and Communication Studies from the University of Liverpool in 1996. After a stint in student politics she worked for the BBC Political Unit and BBC Parliament as a researcher and TV producer. A holiday in Florence sparked an interest in Renaissance history and in 2004 she changed career and went back to university to study for a PhD in History at Royal Holloway, University of London. She subsequently held research fellowships at the British School at Rome and the European University Institute in Florence and is now a Lecturer in Early Modern History at Durham University. Our Man in Rome is her first book.
M.R.D. Foot was an army officer throughout the Second World War, and was awarded the French Croix de Guerre for work with the SAS in Brittany. He taught politics and history at Oxford University, was Professor of Modern History at Manchester University, and among other books wrote SOE in France, Resistance, MI9 (with J.M. Langley) and Six Faces of Courage.
David Stafford is the author of several books on intelligence history, including Britain and European Resistance, Churchill and Secret Service, Ten Days to D-Day andMission Accomplished: SOE and Italy 1943 – 1945.
Richard Fortey studied Geology at Cambridge University and had a long career as a palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum in London. Since 1997, he has been a member of the Royal Society. He has published numerous books: The Hidden Landscape won the Natural World Book of the Year (1993), Life was short-listed for the Rhône-Poulenc Prize (1998) and Trilobite! was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize (2001). Fortey was elected President of the Geological Society of London for its bicentennial year (2007).
Misha Glenny is a distinguished journalist and historian. As the Central Europe Correspondent first for the Guardian and then for the BBC, he chronicled the collapse of communism and the wars in the former Yugoslavia. He has won several major awards for his work, including the Sony Gold Award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting. The author of four books, including the acclaimed McMafia, he has been regularly consulted by the US and European governments on major policy issues and ran an NGO for three years, assisting with the reconstruction of Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo. He now lives in London.
Alison Gopnik is an internationally renowned authority on children's learning, the author of over 100 articles and the co-author of two books: Words, Thoughts And Theories (1998) and the acclaimed How Babies Think (2001). She has also written for the Times Literary Supplement, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times and was Associate Editor of Child Development (the leading journal in the field). She is a Professor of Psychology and Affiliate Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley.
Helen Grant is a highly acclaimed YA author. Her debut novel attractied praise from critics and readers alike andwas shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal.
Born in London in 1964, Helen showed an early leaning towards the arts after being told off for writing stories under the desk during maths lessons. She went on to read Classics at St Hugh's College, Oxford, and then worked in marketing for ten years to fund her love of travelling before returning to writing.
Helen now lives near Brussels with her husband, her two children and their two cats.
Stephen Greenblatt is the John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University and is the founder of the school of literary criticism known as New Historicism. As visiting professor and lecturer at universities in England, Australia, the United States and elsewhere throughout the world, he has delivered such distinguished series of lectures as the Clarendon Lectures at Oxford and the University Public Lectures at Princeton. He has received two Guggenheim Fellowships and has been President of the Modern Language Association. Professor Greenblatt is the author and co-author of nine books and the editor of ten others, including The Norton Anthology of English Literature (7th edition) and The Norton Shakespeare.
Matt Haig's first novel for young readers, Shadow Forest, won the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award and the Gold Smarties Award. He is also the author of various adult novels, including the bestsellers The Last Family in England,The Radleys and The Humans. Reviewers have called his writing 'totally engrossing', 'touching, quirky and macabre' and 'so surprising and strange that it vaults into a realm all of its own'. His books have been translated into 25 languages. He lives in York.
Edith Hall is one of Britain’s foremost classicists, having held posts at the universities of Royal Holloway, Cambridge, Durham, Reading, and Oxford. In 2014 she was awarded the Erasmus Medal of the European Academy, given to a scholar whose works represent a significant contribution to European culture and scientific achievement. She is the first woman to win this award. Hall regularly writes in the Times Literary Supplement, reviews theatre productions on radio, and has written and edited more than a dozen works on the ancient world. She teaches at King’s College London and lives in Gloucestershire.
Richard Hammond is internationally famous for co-presenting Top Gear; he also presented Brainiac: Science Abuse, Total Wipeout and Planet Earth Live, and he wrote the Blast Lab series of books. He lives in the countryside with his wife, two daughters and their pets.
Oren Harman obtained a D.Phil in the History of Science from Oxford University in 2001. He is the Chair of the Graduate Program in Science, Technology and Society at Bar Ilan University, the author of The Man Who Invented the Chromosome, a documentary film maker, and a frequent contributor to The New Republic. He lives in Tel Aviv.
A graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, Mairi Hedderwick was a teacher before she started illustrating children’s books. As an author and illustrator her most popular character, Katie Morag, was created in 1984.
Katie Morag’s home on the fictional Hebridean island of Struay is not a million sea miles away from her author’s life long association with the Isle of Coll.
In 2013 Katie Morag joined Cbeebies with the successful TV series produced by Move On Up / Struay Films.
Mairi Hedderwick has also written and illustrated many other books for children and adults, all with the backdrop of the Highlands and Islands. She was awarded an Honorary Degree from Stirling University in 2003 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to writing and illustration in Scotland, especially for children.
Her illustrated adult books are An Eye on the Hebrides, which is a record of a six month continous journey through the islands on the west of Scotland. Highland Journey, follows the footsteps of Victorian writer and artist John T Reid; Sea Change, logs the passage of 26ft vintage yacht Anassa from east to west coast Scotland via the Caledonian canal; Shetland Rambles, her latest illustrated personal journey is in tandem with John T Reid once more. The Last Laird of Coll is a memoir of Kenneth Stewart, last laird of Coll.
Shirley was born in West Kirby, near Liverpool, and studied fashion and dress design at Liverpool Art School, before continuing her studies at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford. She then embarked on a career as a freelance illustrator in London, where she still lives today. She illustrated other writers' work, including Noel Streatfeild, Alison Uttley, Ian Seraillier, Margaret Mahy and notably Dorothy Edwards's My Naughty Little Sister series. Shirley began to write and draw her own picture books when her children were young. Her first book - Lucy and Tom's Day - was published in 1960, and she followed it with, among others, Dogger and the Alfie series. Shirley Hughes has won the Other Award, the Eleanor Farjeon Award, and the Kate Greenaway Medal for Illustration twice, for Dogger in 1977 and for Ella's Big Chance in 2003. In 2007 Dogger was voted the public's favourite Greenaway winner of all time. Shirley received an OBE in 1999 for services to Children's Literature.
Norman Hunter was born in 1899 in Sydenham, London. After leaving school and finishing what he described as a 'course of all-in wrestling with typewriters', he became an advertising copywriter. He also began, in 1915, giving performances of conjuring, and made over two hundred appearances at Maskelyne and Devants. His first Branestawm book was published in 1933. After the Second World War, Norman Hunter moved to South Africa, where he continued to work in advertising. Conjuring was still one of his spare time occupations. He returned to England in 1969 where he lived near the river at Staines until his death in 1995.
Pat Hutchins has always loved drawing and at the age of 16, won a scholarship to Darlington Art School. She is now one of the most popular picture book creators in the world with over 30 children's books published after the success of her classic Rosie's Walk.
GEORGE JOHNSON writes regularly about science for the New York Times. He has also written for National Geographic, Slate, Discover, Scientific American, Wired, and The Atlantic, and his work has been included in The Best American Science Writing. A former Alicia Patterson fellow, he has received awards from PEN and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and his books were twice finalists for the Royal Society’s book prize. He appears regularly on “Science Faction” on bloggingheads.tv and writes the blog “Fire in the Mind” for Discover. He lives in Santa Fe.
John Keegan is the author of several classic works of military history including The Face of Battle, Six Armies in Normandy, The Mask of Command, Battle at Sea, The Second World War and A History of Warfare.
For many years he was the senior lecturer in Military History at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He was a Fellow of Princeton University, Delmas Distinguished Professor of History at VAssar and Defence Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. He received the OBE, and was knighted in the Millennium honours list in 1999. John Keegan died in 2012.
Dr Yasmin Khan lectures on 18th- to Early 20th-Century British History at Oxford University. Her first book, The Great Partition: the making of India and Pakistan, won the Gladstone Prize for History from the Royal Historical Society. Dr Khan has written for the New Statesman and Guardian and appeared on BBC radio and television, and is an editor of History Workshop Journal and a trustee of the Charles Wallace India Trust.
Irving Kirsch is a lecturer in medicine at the Harvard Medical School and a professor of psychology at Plymouth University, as well as professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Hull, and the University of Connecticut. He has published eight books and numerous scientific articles on placebo effects, antidepressant medication, hypnosis, and suggestion. His work has appeared in Science, Science News, New Scientist, New York Times, Newsweek, and BBC Focus and many other leading magazines, newspapers, and television documentaries.
Matthew Kneale studied Modern History at Oxford University. He is the author of several novels, including English Passengers which won the Whitbread Award and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He lives in Rome.
Peter Longerich is Professor of Modern German History at Royal Holloway University of London, and founder of Royal Holloway's Holocaust Research Centre. He has published extensively on Nazi Germany, including the acclaimed Holocaust: The Nazi Murder and the Persecution of the Jews, The Unwritten Order: Hitler's Role in the Final Solution, and The Systematic Character of the National Socialist Policy for the Extermination of the Jews.
Felix Martin was educated in the UK, Italy and the US, and holds degrees in classics, international relations and economics, including a D.Phil. in Economics from Oxford University. He worked for the World Bank and for the European Stability Initiative think tank, and is currently a partner in the fixed income division at Liontrust Asset Management plc.
Zareer Masani has an Oxford history doctorate and is the author of four previous historical books, including a widely acclaimed biography of the former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He spent two decades as a current affairs producer for the BBC and is now a freelance journalist and broadcaster. A Macaulay child himself, he is the son of the late Indian politician Minoo Masani and grandson of the eminent historian Sir Rustom Masani.
Emily Mayhew is the author of Wounded: From Battlefield to Blighty, 1914-1918. She is Research Associate at Imperial College and consultant and lecturer to various museums including the Wellcome Collection, the Imperial War Museum and the Royal College of Surgeons. Her first book, The Reconstruction of Warriors, was published in 2004.
Emily’s primary research interest is the history of the medical treatment of severe casualty in 20th and 21st century warfare. She is determined to ensure that, in particular, the work and courage of the stretcher bearers of the Great War is properly represented during the centenary commemorations.
During Autumn of 2014 she will be speaking at the Royal Institution, the Cheltenham Literary Festival, the Royal Society of Medicine, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, the Liverpool History Society, the Florence Nightingale Museum, and the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution Great War Centenary Commemoration.
Frank McLynn is a highly regarded historian, who specializes in biographies and military history. He has written over 20 books, including critically acclaimed biographies of Napoleon and Richard the Lionheart. Other books include 1066, Stanley, 1759, and Marcus Aurelius. He is a graduate of Wadham College, Oxford, and London University, where he obtained his doctorate.
Margaret Meek is Emeritus Reader in Education at the Institute of Education in the University of London. She supervises research in education, literacy and children's Literature. She is a member of the Executive Committe of the National Literacy Trust. In 1970 she was awarded the Eleanor Farjeon Prize for services to children and books.
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita is Julius Silver Professor of Politics at New York University and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. A specialist in policy forecasting, political economy and international security policy, he received his doctorate in political science from the University of Michigan. Bueno de Mesquita is the author of fourteen books and numerous articles for journals, newspapers and magazines. He is a partner in a consulting firm focused on government and business applications of his game theory models. He lives in San Francisco and New York City.
Cindy Meston is one of the world's leading researchers on women's sexuality and a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, where she directs the Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory. David Buss, one of the founders of the field of evolutionary psychology, is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and is the author of several books, including The Evolution of Desire and The Dangerous Passion.
Dominique Moïsi is a founder and now a senior adviser to the French Institute of International Affairs IFRI) and a professor at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris. He writes a column for the Financial Times and contributes to Foreign Affairs and the Guardian. He lives in Paris.
Roger Moorhouse is an historian and author specialising in modern German history. He is the co-author, with Norman Davies, of Microcosm: Portrait of a Central European City, and the author of Killing Hitler and Berlin at War.
Dr Ian Mortimer is the Sunday Times bestselling author of TheTime Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England and The Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England, as well as four critically acclaimed medieval biographies, and numerous scholarly articles on subjects ranging in date from the twelfth to the twentieth centuries.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1998. His work on the social history of medicine won the Alexander Prize (2004) and was published by the Royal Historical Society in 2009. He lives with his wife and three children in Moretonhampstead, on the edge of Dartmoor.
Paul O'Keeffe is a freelance lecturer and writer based in Liverpool. He gained his Ph. D. with a scholarly edition of Wyndham Lewis's Tarr, and won critical acclaim with his 2000 study of Lewis, Some Sort of Genius.
Roger Osborne's work has provided a range of innovative insights into our views of the past, and how they inform the present. His previous books include The Floating Egg: Episodes in the Making of Geology, The Deprat Affair: Ambition, Revenge and Deceit in French Indo-China, The Dreamer of the Calle San Salvador: Visions of Sedition and Sacrilege in Sixteenth-Century Spain, Civilization: A New History of the Western World and Of The People, By The People, A New History of Democracy.
Roger Osborne is also a professional playwright. His plays include The Art Of Persuasion, first performed in 2011 and Laughton, staged in 2013 He lives in Scarborough.
Evan Osnos joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008. He was the magazine’s correspondent in China, where he lived in a restored house in Beijing north of the Forbidden City, from 2005 until 2013 when he moved to Washington, D.C.
He has received many prizes, including the Asia Society’s Osborn Elliott Prize for Excellence in Journalism on Asia and the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. Osnos previously worked as the Beijing Bureau Chief of the Chicago Tribune, where he contributed to a series that won a 2008 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.
Age of Ambition is the winner of the 2014 National Book Award for non-fiction.
Theo Padnos is the author of MyLife Had Stood a Loaded Gun: Adolescents at the Apocalypse: A Teacher's Notes. He taught short stories and poems to teenaged prisoners in America before travelling to Yemen to study Islam in 2005. He has written for a number of publications including the London Review of Books.
R. J. Palacio is a graphic designer by day and a writer by night. She lives in New York City with her family and a black dog called Bear. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, WONDER, has sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide and has spent over three years in the UK and US bestseller charts.
Jonathan Powell has spent half a lifetime talking to people and organisations labelled as terrorists.
He runs Inter Mediate, a London-based charity for negotiation and mediation that focuses on the most difficult, complex and dangerous conflicts, where other organisations are unable to operate.
In 1997 he met Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness and became instrumental in negotiating peace in Northern Ireland. In 2008 he suggested publicly that western governments should open talks with the Taliban, Hamas and al-Qaeda. Today, he works on different armed conflicts around the world and is the UK Prime Minister's special envoy to Libya.
He is the author of two books, Great Hatred, Little Room and The New Machiavelli. He lives in London with his wife and two daughters.
David Quammen is an author and journalist who travels widely to some of the remotest corners of the earth. He writes for a broad range of publications such as Harper’s, Esquire, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone and the New York Times, and is a Contributing Writer at National Geographic. His journalism has won him three National Magazine Awards, and he is the recipient of the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Quammen is the author of several acclaimed science and natural history titles, as well as a number of novels. His most recent book, Spillover, from which this book is largely extracted, is an exploration into how some of the world’s most deadly viruses crossed over from non-human animals into humans. Spillover won the Science and Society Book Prize, from the National Association of Science Writers in the United States, and the Society of Biology Book Award in the United Kingdom.
Lisa Randall is Professor of Phsyics at Harvard University. She is one of today's most influential and most cited cited theoretical physicists, and has received numerous awards and honours.
Randall is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Physical Society, and is the recipient of several honorary degrees.
When not solving the problems of the universe, she can be found rock climbing, skiing, or contributing to art–science connections.
Ruth Rendell is the author of over 50 novels and she has won many significant crime fiction awards. Her books are translated into 21 languages. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer. Archie and Archie is her first book for children.
Johnny Rogan is the author of over twenty books, including highly acclaimed biographies/musical studies of the Byrds, the Smiths, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, John Lennon and Morrissey. His groundbreaking Starmakers & Svengalis: The History Of British Pop Management was adapted for a six-week BBC series. Morrissey & Marr: The Severed Alliance was one of the best-selling and most controversial rock biographies of its time, receiving various music biography of the year awards, and has been in print continuously for over twenty years. More recently, Van Morrison: No Surrender was chosen by the Sunday Timesas one of its Top 10 Music Books of the Year. He is currently completing an epic two-volume study, Byrds: Requiem For the Timeless.
Norman Rose is a graduate of the LSE and now holds the Chair of International Relations at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. A distinguished historian and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he is also the author of much acclaimed biographies of Winston Churchill, Chaim Weitzman and Harold Nicholson, as well as a study of the Cliveden Set.
ANDREW RUGASIRA grew up in Uganda and went to the University of London for his undergraduate degree in Law and Economics. He later completed a masters degree in African Studies at the University of Oxford. In 2003, he founded Good African Coffee, the first African-owned coffee brand to be stocked in UK supermarkets and US retailers. He regularly speaks at leadership and business conferences, and is passionate about initiatives that lead to community transformation. In 2007, he was nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He has won several awards, including the Legatum Pioneers of Prosperity award, and in 2010 was nominated for a Financial Times/ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business award. Andrew lives in Kampala with his wife Jacqueline and their children.
Timothy W. Ryback is the co-founder of the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation at Leiden University in The Netherlands. His previous books include the highly acclaimed Hitler's Private Library: The Books that Shaped his Life, which has been translated into more than twenty languages and was described by Ian Kershaw as ‘elegantly written, meticulously researched, fascinating’, and The Last Survivor: Legacies of Dachau, which was a New York Times Notable Book for 2000. He has been involved with several institutions dealing with international affairs and served as a lecturer in History and Literature at Harvard University. He has also written for the Atlantic, the New Yorker and the New York Times. He and his wife reside in Paris.
Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals. He also directs the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Sachs is the author of several bestselling books, most recently the critically acclaimed The Price of Civilization.
Nigel Saul is Professor of Medieval History in the University of London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Society of Antiquaries. His publications include Richard II, A Companion to Medieval England, Death, Art and Memory in Medieval England and, most recently, The Three Richards.
Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University and the prize-winning author of fourteen books, which have been translated into twenty languages. They include The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age; Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution; Landscape and Memory; Rembrandt's Eyes; Rough Crossings,which won the National Book Critics Circle Award; and most recently, The American Future: A History. He has written widely on music, art, politics and food for the Guardian, Vogue and the New Yorker. His award-winning television work as writer and presenter for the BBC stretches over two decades and includes the fifteen-part A History of Britain series; the Emmy-winning Power of Art and The American Future: A History whichappeared on BBC2 in autumn 2008.
Maurice Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York. He began by illustrating other authors' books for children, but the first book that he both wrote and illustrated was Kenny's Window, published in 1956. In his lifetime, he illustrated over 80 books, and received many awards, including the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are. In 1970 he was the first American to win the Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator's Medal. He passed away in May 2012.
Steve Alton studied Biology at the University of York. Having a lifelong love of natural history, he worked in conservation, managing nature reserves in Nottinghamshire for many years. His interactive web based teaching tool won 3rd Prize in the European elearning award with 800 entries from 30 countries.
Nick Sharratt has written and illustrated many books for children and won numerous awards for his picture books, including the Sheffield Children's Book Award and the Children's Book Award. He has also enjoyed great success illustrating the Jacqueline Wilson books. Nick lives in Brighton.
Ben Shephard read History at Oxford University. He was a Producer on the television series The World at War and The Nuclear Age and has made numerous historical and scientific documentaries for the BBC and Channel Four. He is the author of the critically acclaimed A War of Nerves: Soldiers and Psychiatrists 1914-1994 and After Daybreak: The Liberation of Belsen, 1945. He lives in Bristol.
Dorothy Gladys 'Dodie' Smith was born in 1896 in Lancashire and was one of the most successful female dramatists of her generation. Her first novel, I Capture the Castle, written when she lived in America during the 1940's, marked her crossover debut from playwright to novelist. The novel became an immediate success and was produced as a play in 1954. She has written numerous other novels but is best known today for The Hundred and One Dalmatians, a story for younger readers grown out of her life-long love of the spotty dog and inspired by her own experiences. The Hundred and One Dalmatians became the basis of two Disney Films. She lived in a cottage with her husband and many pets, in the Essex countryside that she loved, until her death in 1990, aged 94.
Timothy Snyder received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1997. He has held fellowships in Paris and Vienna, and an Academy Scholarship at Harvard. He has written and edited a number of critically-acclaimed and prize-winning books about twentieth-century European history, including The Reconstruction of Nations, Sketches from a Secret War and The Red Prince. He is Professor of History at Yale University.
David Stafford is the author of several books on intelligence history, including Britain and European Resistance, Churchill and Secret Service, Roosevelt and Churchill: Men of Secrets, Flight from Reality and Ten Days to D-Day. He was Professor of History at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Executive Director of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, Chairman of the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies, an Associate Member of St. Antony's College, Oxford, and Project Director at the Centre for the Study of the Two World Wars at the University of Edinburgh, where he is currently an Honorary Fellow.
Bettina Stangneth wrote her dissertation on Immanuel Kant and the concept of 'Radical Evil' and has written extensively about anti-Semitism in 18th century and National Socialist philosophy. In 2000 she was awarded first prize by the Philosophical–Political Academy, Cologne. She lives in Hamburg.
Nicholas Stern was Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank from 2000 to 2003. He is currently the I.G. Patel Chair at the London School of Economics, heading the new India Observatory within the Asia Research Centre. He also chairs the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. He has served as the Second Permanent Secretary to Her Majesty's Treasury, the Director of Policy and Research for the Prime Minister's Commission for Africa, and the head of the Government Economic Service in the UK.
Sir Roy Strong was director of the National Portrait Gallery from 1967 to 1971 and director of the Victoria & Albert Museum from 1974 to 1987, when he became a full-time writer, broadcaster and consultant. His books include The Story of Britain, The Arts in Britain, Coronation: A History of Kingship and the British Monarchy and, most recently, A Little History of the English Country Church.
Dr John Sugden has pursued a busy trans-Atlantic career as a lecturer, senior research fellow and writer. He is the author of a series of acclaimed articles and books, including Sir Francis Drake, Tecumseh: A Life, which won the Distinguished Book Award of the American Society for Military History, and Blue Jacket, which won the Ohioana Award. His fascination with Nelson stems from childhood, and he decided to write a complete life of Nelson when he discovered large amounts of untapped material whilst completing his doctorate in naval and political history.
Tabitha Suzuma was born in 1975 and lives in London. She has always loved writing and would regularly get into trouble at the French Lycée for writing stories instead of listening in class. She used to work as a primary school teacher and now divides her time between writing and tutoring. Her first novel, A Note of Madness, was published to great critical acclaim.
CHRIS TURNEY is an Australian and British geologist, described by the Saturday Times as ‘the new David Livingstone’. He is Professor of Climate Change at the University of New South Wales and the author of Ice, Mud and Blood: Lessons from Climates Past and Bones, Rocks and Stars: The Science of when Things Happened. In 2007 he was awarded the Sir Nicholas Shackleton Medal for outstanding young scientist for pioneering research into past climate change and dating the past and in 2009 received the Geological Society of London’s Bigsby Medal for services to geology. Twitter: @ProfChrisTurney / www.christurney.com
Cédric Villani is a French mathematician who has received many international awards for his work including the Jacques Herbrand Prize, the Prize of the European Mathematical Society, the Fermat Prize and the Henri Poincaré Prize.
In 2010 he was awarded the Fields Medal, the International Medal for Outstanding Discoveries in Mathematics, for his work on Landau damping and the Boltzmann equation. Often called ‘the mathematicians’ Nobel Prize’, it is awarded every four years and is viewed by some as the highest honour a mathematician can achieve.
He is a professor at Lyon University and Director of the Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris, working primarily on partial differential equations and mathematical physics.
Ed Vulliamy is a journalist and writes for the Guardian and Observer. He has been shortlisted for an Amnesty International Media Award for his reporting on Mexico. For his work in Bosnia, Italy, the US and Iraq he has won a James Cameron Award and an Amnesty International Media Award and has been named International Reporter of the Year (twice) and runner-up at the Foreign Press Association Awards. In 1996 he became the first journalist to ever testify at an international crimes court, at the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia. A believer in the duty of journalists to testify in matters of humanitarian law, he has since lectured extensively on the subject.
Born and bred in Warwickshire, Carl Watkins read history at Cambridge, where he is now lecturer in medieval history and a fellow of Magdalene College. He writes about belief and has published on the history of ghosts, the afterlife, saints and folklore. His first book, History and the Supernatural in Medieval England,was published by CUP in 2007, and he has contributed to a forthcoming Cambridge history of medieval England. He has also appeared on Radio 3’s Night Waves, in a number of programmes for Radio 4’s series The Long View and on a number of television documentaries. He lives in Cambridge.
Richard Weight is the author of Patriots: National Identity in Britain 1940-2000 and co-authored Modern British History: The Essential A-Z Guide. He studied history at Trinity College, Cambridge, and went on to do a PhD at University College, London. He is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Boston and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Richard also makes documentaries for radio and television on many aspects of British life.
Odd Arne Westad is one of the world's foremost experts on both the Cold War and contemporary East Asian history, having won the Bancroft Prize, the Michael Harrington Award and the Akira Iriye International History Book Award for his seminal book The Global Cold War. A Professor of International History at the London School of Economics, he is also co-director of LSE IDEAS, a centre for the study of international affairs, diplomacy and grand strategy.
Professor Jerry White teaches London history at Birkbeck, University of London. His acclaimed trilogy on London, from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, is an unparalleled narrative of the capital, and London in the Twentieth Century: A City and Its People won the Wolfson History Prize in 2001. His most recent book was London in the Eighteenth Century: A Great and Monstrous Thing, first published in 2012. He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by the University of London in 2005 and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
Sean Wilentz is Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor in the American Revolutionary Era at Princeton University. He is the author of The Rise of American Democracy, which received the coveted Bancroft Prize, and most recently The Age of Reagan. He has also received a Deems Taylor Award for musical commentary and a Grammy nomination for his liner notes to Bootleg Series, Vol. 6: Bob Dylan, Live 1964: The Concert at Philharmonic Hall.
Sarah Wise has an MA in Victorian Studies from Birkbeck College. She teaches 19th-century social history and literature at the Bishopsgate Institute. Her interests are London/urban history, working-class history, medical history, psychogeography, 19th-century literature and reportage. Her website is www.sarahwise.co.uk
Her most recent book, Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad-Doctors in Victorian England (Bodley Head), was shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize 2014.
Her 2004 debut, The Italian Boy: Murder and Grave Robbery in 1830s London (Jonathan Cape), was shortlisted for the 2005 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. Her follow-up The Blackest Streets: The Life and Death of a Victorian Slum was published in 2008 and was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize.
Sarah was a major contributor to Iain Sinclair's compendium London, City of Disappearances (2006). She has contributed to the TLS, History Today, BBC History magazine, the Literary Review, the FT and the Daily Telegraph. She discussed bodysnatching for BBC2’s History Cold Case series; provided background material for BBC1’s Secret History of Our Streets; and spoke about Broadmoor Hospital on Channel 5’s programme on that institution.She has been a guest on Radio 4’s All in the Mind, Radio 3’s Night Waves and the Guardian’s Books Podcast about 19th-century mental health.
Stephen Richard Witt graduated with a degree in Mathematics from the University of Chicago in 2001 and he worked as a financial analyst before attending journalism school. He graduated from Columbia Journalism School in 2011 where his Master's thesis won a Lynton Fellowship. How Music Got Free is his first book.
Michael Wolff is a contributing editor and columnist for Vanity Fair, and a National Magazine Award winner and two-time nominee. His weekly column in New York Magazine, 'This Media Life', was one of the most influential commentaries about the media industry. He is the author of the best-selling Burn Rate, and of the books White Kids, Where We Stand - which became a multipart PBS series - and most recently, Autumn of the Moguls. He is a frequent guest commentator on a range of national news shows, and his journalism appears regularly in the Guardian.
Dame Frances Yates achieved a world-wide reputation as an historian. She was Reader in the History of the Renaissance at the Warburg Institute of the University of London and gained many academic honours. In 1972 she was appointed OBE and in 1977 DBE.
Her publications include Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, Theatre of the World, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, and Shakespeare's Last Plays. Frances Yates died in 1981.
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