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History

'Better than Simon Schama, Saul David has recast history as addictive narrative...'

Independent

Fiction

'Saul David has already shown himself to be a first rate historian, now he proves to be a masterly story-teller...'

Bernard Cornwell

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About Saul

Saul David is an historian, broadcaster and the author of several critically-acclaimed works of fiction and non-fiction.

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His history books include Military Blunders, The Indian Mutiny: 1857 (shortlisted for the Westminster Medal for Military Literature), Zulu: the Heroism and Tragedy of the Zulu War of 1879 (a Waterstone's Military History Book of the Year), All The King's Men: The British Redcoat in the Era of Sword and Musket and 100 Days to Victory: How the Great War was Fought and Won, 1914-1918. He has also written two bestselling novels, Zulu Hart and Hart of Empire, and edited the war diaries and letters of a Great War subaltern, Mud & Bodies. His latest work of non-fiction, Operation Thunderbolt: Flight 139 and the Raid on Entebbe Airport was an Amazon History Book of the Year for 2015. Alan Furst commented in the New York Times Book Review: 'Tense and riveting...This is the achievement of a masterly, first-rate historian.' A film option has been bought by StudioCanal.

News & Events

Latest news and planned events from Saul.

  • 2.02.2016

    Another wonderful review of Operation Thunderbolt appeared in today’s Washington Times. ‘The story of this ever more dramatic story,’ writes Martin Rubin, ‘has been told many times on page and screen. But never better than British historian Saul David does in this meticulously researched, vivid account. He has a knack for making the reader feel he is right there… The raid was one of history’s truly stirring and awe-inspiring events, and Mr David’s gripping book truly does it justice.’ Click here for full review

  • 20.01.2016

    This Sunday a rave review of Operation Thunderbolt by brilliant spy novelist Alan Furst will appear in the New York Times Book Review. Furst writes: ‘David…has written what will most likely be the definitive work on the subject and produced a tense and riveting account of what has come to be known as the Entebbe Raid. By means of extraordinarily deep research, David essentially lets the characters speak for themselves…. David’s exploration of the various conflicts generates a high level of drama and tension for the reader, even though the outcome is known. This is the achievement of a masterly, first-rate historian. He is also a master at detailing the chaotic action of combat.’ Click here for the full review

  • 4.01.2016

    Another great review of Operation Thunderbolt in last Saturday’s USA Today. Ray Locker writes: ‘Saul David…has nimbly woven a breathless romp across Europe, the Middle East and Africa… Operation Thunderbolt succeeds as a suspenseful read and a lesson in how one era’s bogeyman, in this case Amin, can seem frightening and omnipotent at one point in time and then ridiculous in hindsight.’ (3.5 stars out of 4) Click here for the full review

  • 29.12.2015

    Writing in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Jordan Chandler Hirsch describes Operation Thunderbolt as a ‘thrilling’ read. He adds: ‘Dozens of books and movies have tried to capture the menace and the romance of the operation, most famously “Raid on Entebbe,” the 1977 TV movie starring Peter Finch and Charles Bronson. It’s no wonder. The event sports a colorful cast of heroes and villains. In “Operation Thunderbolt,” British historian Saul David relies on extensive interviews with the captors, kidnapped and rescuers to retell the story in a tick-tock trek from Tel Aviv bunkers to the airport in Entebbe. The effect is heart-racing.’ Click here for full review

  • 27.12.2015

    Another glowing review of the US edition of Operation Thunderbolt in yesterday’s Boston Globe. ‘This gripping tale,’ writes Joshua Kendall, ‘has already been told in numerous books, feature films and documentaries.. But David’s version, which cuts back and forth between the key players and reads like a film script, should prove definitive. He has tracked down formerly classified documents in four countries. His meticulous reconstruction has also been enriched by recent interviews with hostages as well as Israeli soldiers and politicians and even a former terrorist. Not surprisingly, the rights to David’s book were quickly gobbled up by a leading European film production company.’ Click here for full review

  • 26.12.2015

    Operation Thunderbolt has been chosen as one Amazon’s History Books of 2015. Click here for details

     

     

  • 17.12.2015

    More praise for Operation Thunderbolt in the Jerusalem Post.  Seth J. Franzman writes: ‘David…brings his excellent skill as a professor of war studies…to this story. With an eye for history – and nosing in the archives – he has brought to light the story of the hostage crisis and the raid Israel launched to save the victims… [It] is written in an informed and colorful fast-paced way, jumping from Uganda to Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as the action develops.’ Jerusalem Post

  • 14.12.2015

    Another wonderful review of Operation Thunderbolt has appeared in the Times of Israel. Ellis Shuman writes: ‘Operation Thunderbolt: Flight 139 and the Raid on Entebbe by noted historian Saul David keeps readers glued to the page in a definitive account of the IDF operation… Saul David provides readers with a definitive account of what he calls one of the greatest Special Forces mission ever. The Entebbe story presented on the pages of this book reads almost like a thriller. Tension builds minute by minute with a narrative told from many angles – the hostages, the soldiers, the politicians, and even the terrorists themselves.’ Click here for the full review

  • 14.12.2015

    Saul made two appearances in BBC programmes this week: in ‘Blood & Gold: The Making of Spain with Simon Sebag-Montefiore’ on BBC4 on Tuesday 8 December; and also in ‘Saving the Forgotten Jews’ on BBC1 on Sunday 13 December (click here to watch)

  • 6.12.2015

    Craig Brown, the chief critic of the Mail on Sunday has chosen Operation Thunderbolt as one of his Books of the Year. He wrote: ‘Other books I have greatly enjoyed this year include Saul David’s almost indecently exciting Operation Thunderbolt, a minute-by-minute narrative about the 1976 Israeli raid on Entebbe Airport to rescue 228 hostages.’

Broadcasting

An experienced TV and radio broadcaster.

BBC, BBC Radio 4, Channel 4Saul has presented and appeared in history programmes for all the major TV channels and is a regular on Radio 4. Visit the Broadcasting page for a full list of credits. In 2015 he appeared in programmes on the Spanish Armada, the Duke of Wellington, the Battle of Waterloo (twice), the History of Spain and the secret rescue of Ethiopia's Jews. In 2016 he will feature in a six-part series about Adolf Hitler and present World War Two: A Timewatch Guide for BBC4.