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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

About Saul

Saul David is a Sunday Times bestselling military historian, novelist and broadcaster.

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His history books include The Indian Mutiny (shortlisted for the Westminster Medal for Military Literature), Zulu (a Waterstone's Military History Book of the Year), and Operation Thunderbolt: Flight 139 and the Raid on Entebbe Airport (an Amazon History Book of the Year). Alan Furst commented in the New York Times Book Review: 'Tense and riveting...This is the achievement of a masterly, first-rate historian.' The film rights for Operation Thunderbolt were bought by Hollywood's Participant Media and used in the making of the motion picture 'Seven Days in Entebbe' which was released worldwide in the spring of 2018. The film is co-produced by Working Title, directed by José Padilha, and stars Rosamund Pike, Daniel Brühl and Eddie Marsan.

In 2019, he brought out The Force: The legendary Special Ops Unit and WWII's Mission Impossible, which was hailed as a "monumental achievement" (Douglas Brinkley) and "an essential part of anyone's library" (Doug Stanton). His latest book, Crucible of Hell: Okinawa - The Last Great Battle of the Second World War, was published in the spring of 2020 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the campaign, and has been shortlisted for the 2021 British Army's Military Book of the Year. It was described by Antony Beevor as 'Excellent...gripping narrative' and named as an Amazon.com History Book of the Month and Daily Telegraph and Times/Sunday Times Non-fiction Book of the Year. In a 5-star review in the Daily Telegraph, Simon Heffer described Saul as 'peerless now among our military historians'.

His latest SBS: Silent Warriors – The Authorized Wartime History was published on 2 September 2021 to universal praise. 'A terrific book,' wrote James Holland in the Daily Telegraph, 'written with all the gusto, thrills and head excitement these SBS operations richly deserve. It really is one of the most enjoyable histories I've read in many a year.'  It was an instant Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller, entering the list at No. 9 and climbing to No. 4.

Saul has also written three bestselling historical novels, Zulu HartHart of Empire and The Prince and the Whitechapel Murders.

Saul has presented and appeared in history programmes for all the major TV and streaming channels. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Professorial Research Fellow at the Humanities Research Institute, University of Buckingham.

In 2021, Saul founded the Military History Club, offering members exclusive digital content (in the form of newsletters, podcasts, videos and magazines), but also the opportunity to engage with top military historians around the dinner table, attend book launches and bespoke history tours, and even try their hand at writing for the club’s annual e-publication Militaria. For more details and an online application form, click on the link to the club website.

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News & Events

Latest news and planned events from Saul.

  • 19.05.2022

    There was an excellent review of the Battleground: The Falklands War podcast, hosted by Saul and Patrick Bishop, in the Spectator. Melanie McDonough writes: ‘For a fair analysis of war you need distance to get things in perspective and for the truth about controversial aspects to emerge. You need some of the main players alive and anxious to tell their stories. This series has all that, at least from the British side, plus two presenters who know their stuff and aren’t afraid to show enthusiasm for the soldierly side of things… There are some classy contributors. The first episode has Richard Luce, then the Foreign Office minister responsible for the Falklands, who reflected ruefully that at the outset ‘neither side understood each other’… The military commentators were excellent too… This is a fair, unjingoistic account. The contributors were male, most with plummy voices, because these were the people who knew the story and could tell it well. Imagine how the BBC would have done it.’  Click here to read the full article

  • 20.04.2022

    Saul has launched a new podcast called ‘Battleground’ with fellow military historian and former war correspondent Patrick Bishop. It will cover mainly 20th Century warfare, and kicks off with a multi-part special on the Falklands War to coincide with the 40th anniversary. Guest interviewees include Lord Luce, Major General Jeremy Thompson, Rear Admiral Jeremy Larken, Lieutenant General Sir Hew Pike, two SBS operators, Bob Headland of the British Antarctic Survey, Colonel Euen Southby-Tailyour, and many more. Search ‘Battleground: The Falklands War’ wherever you get your podcast, or click here

  • 10.03.2022

    More than a hundred leading British historians have signed a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson demanding an immediate relaxation of rules for Ukrainian refugees. The text of the letter and the list of names are as follows:

     

    Dear Prime Minister,

    We the undersigned are professional historians, many of whom have spent their careers studying the wars and refugee crises of the twentieth century. We write urgently to ask your government to immediately relax the rules of entry for Ukrainian refugees fleeing from an unlawful war of aggression. The current delays are unacceptable in light of the unfolding emergency, and put your government far behind the generous schemes already operating across Europe. We are reminded of the poor response of the British government to the plight of the Jews of central Europe in the 1930s, thousands of whom later perished in the Holocaust. Then British officials restricted entry to those who could be funded from private British sources or who would be useful for the British economy. If your government indeed has ‘huge compassion’, as your Defence Secretary suggests, it is time to demonstrate it on a large scale. These are not illegal immigrants, spies or terrorists, but frightened and disorientated women, children and the elderly who hope for better from a country whose values and material advantages ought to make it an obvious refuge for those driven by war from their homeland. We earnestly hope that you will learn the lessons from past history, and open Britain’s doors to those desperately seeking a place of safety.

     

    Professor Lynn Abrams FBA (University of Glasgow)

    Professor Christopher Andrew FBA (University of Cambridge)

    Professor Nigel Ashton (LSE)

    Professor Duncan Bell FBA (University of Cambridge)

    Sir Antony Beevor

    Professor Maxine Berg FBA (University of Warwick)

    Professor Paul Betts (University of Oxford)

    Patrick Bishop

    Professor Donald Bloxham (University of Edinburgh)

    Professor Joanna Bourke FBA (Birkbeck, University of London)

    Professor Tanja Bueltmann (University of Strathclyde)

    Professor Kathleen Burk (University College, London)

    Dr. Mathilde von Bulow (St Andrews University)

    Professor Jane Caplan (University of Oxford)

    Professor Steve Casey (LSE)

    Dr Helen Castor

    Dr. Emile Chabal (University of Edinburgh)

    Professor Peter Clarke FBA (University of Cambridge)

    Professor Patricia Clavin FBA (University of Oxford)

    Dr. Oli Charbonneau (University of Glasgow)

    Jessie Childs

    Professor Samuel K. Cohn (University of Glasgow)

    Professor Stefan Collini FBA (University of Cambridge)

    Professor Martin Conway (University of Oxford)

    Professor Martin Daunton FBA (University of Cambridge)

    Professor Anne Deighton (University of Oxford)

    Professor Saul David

    Professor Norman Davies FBA (St Antony’s College, Oxford)

    Professor Sir Tom Devine FBA (University of Edinburgh)

    Professor Costas Douzinas (Birkbeck, University of London)

    Dr. Sarah Dunstan (University of Glasgow)

    Professor David Edgerton FBA (Kings College London)

    Professor Marianne Elliott FBA (University of Liverpool)

    Richard van Emden

    Professor Martin Evans (University of Sussex)

    Professor Sir Richard Evans FBA (University of Cambridge)

    Professor David Feldman (Birkbeck College, London)

    Dr. Matthew Franks (University of Leeds)

    Professor Patrick Finney (Aberystwyth University)

    Professor Sir Roderick Floud FBA

    Professor Roy Foster FBA (University of Oxford)

    Dr. Eva Frojmovic (University of Leeds)

    Professor Karin Friedrich (University of Aberdeen)

    Professor Robert Frost FBA (University of Aberdeen)

    Professor Peter Gatrell FBA (University of Manchester)

    Professor Stephen Gethins (University of St Andrews)

    Professor Gary Gerstle FBA (University of Cambridge)

    Professor Julie Gottlieb (University of Sheffield)

    Dr. Jaclyn Granick (Cardiff University)

    Professor Matthew Grimley (University of Oxford)

    Professor Abigail Green (University of Oxford)

    Professor Adrian Gregory (University of Oxford)

    Professor Emma Griffin (President of the Royal Historical Society)

    Professor James Harris (University of Leeds)

    Professor Ruth Harris FBA (University of Oxford)

    Professor Sir Brian Harrison FBA (University of Oxford)

    Professor Sudhir Hazareesingh FBA (University of Oxford)

    Roger Hermiston

    Dr. Fabian Hilfrich (University of Edinburgh)

    Professor Antony G. Hopkins FBA (University of Cambridge)

    Dr. Daniel Hucker (University of Nottingham)

    Dr. Laure Humbert (University of Manchester)

    Professor Benjamin Jackson (University of Oxford)

    Professor Julian Jackson FBA (Queen Mary, University of London)

    Professor Peter Jackson (University of Glasgow)

    Professor Heather Jones (UCL)

    Professor Matthew Jones (LSE)

    Professor David Kaufman (University of Edinburgh)

    Professor Claire Langhamer (Director, Institute of Historical Research, London)

    Damien Lewis

    Professor Julia Lovell FBA (Birkbeck College, London)

    Professor Piers Ludlow (LSE)

    Dr Robert Lyman

    Professor Joe Maiolo (Kings College, London)

    Dr. Martin MacGregor (University of Glasgow)

    Dr. Andrew Mackillop (University of Glasgow)

    Professor Evan Mawdsley (University of Glasgow)

    Professor Christopher Miller (University of Glasgow)

    Professor Margaret Macmillan FBA (University of Oxford)

    Professor Peter Mandler FBA (University of Oxford)

    Professor Ian McBride (University of Oxford)

    Dr. Carmen Mangion (Birkbeck College, London)

    Giles Milton

    Professor Rana Mitter FBA (University of Oxford)

    Professor David Motadel (LSE)

    Professor Maria Misra (University of Oxford)

    Clare Mulley

    Professor Philip Murphy (Institute for Historical Research, London)

    Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli FRSE (Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Glasgow)

    Professor Holger Nehring (University of Stirling)

    Professor Luck Noakes (University of Exeter)

    Professor Phillips O’Brien (University of Glasgow)

    Professor Richard Overy FBA (University of Exeter)

    Simon Parkin

    Professor Senia Paseta (University of Oxford)

    Dr Effie G.H. Pedaliu (LSE)

    Professor Sir Paul Preston FBA (LSE)

    Professor Pierre Purseigle (University of Warwick)

    Dr Damien van Puyvelde (University of Glasgow)

    Dr Mike Rapport (University of Glasgow)

    Dr Tim Rees (University of Exeter)

    Dr Steven Reid (University of Glasgow)

    Professor Jessica Reinisch (Birkbeck College, London)

    Professor Eugene Rogan FBA (University of Oxford)

    Professor Angela Romano (University of Glasgow)

    Dr Michael Rowe (Kings College London)

    Professor Guy Rowlands (University of St Andrews)

    Dr James Ryan (University of Cardiff)

    Professor Simon Schaffer FBA (University of Cambridge)

    Professor Robert Service FBA (University of Oxford)

    Professor Gary Sheffield (University of Buckingham)

    Professor Alex Shepard FBA (University of Glasgow)

    Professor Brendan Simms (University of Cambridge)

    Professor Stephen Smith FBA (University of Oxford)

    Professor Nick Stargardt (University of Oxford)

    Professor David Stevenson (University of Glasgow)

    Professor Ray Stokes (University of Glasgow)

    Professor Dan Stone (Royal Holloway, London)

    Professor Matthew Strickland (University of Edinburgh)

    Dr. Natalia Telepneva (University of Strathclyde)

    Professor Pat Thane FBA (Birkbeck College, London)

    Professor David Thackeray (University of Exeter)

    Professor Martin Thomas (University of Exeter)

    Professor Charles Townshend FBA (Keele University)

    Professor Richard Toye (University of Exeter)

    Professor Frank Trentmann (Birkbeck College, London)

    Professor Hans van de Ven FBA (University of Oxford)

    Guy Walters

    Professor Arne Westad FBA (University of East Anglia and Yale)

    Professor Neville Wylie (University of Stirling)

    Dr. Benjamin Thomas White (University of Glasgow)

    Professor Vladislav Zubok (LSE)

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • 3.12.2021

    Saul spoke to Paul Woodage about his new book SBS: Silent Warriors. Click here to watch the interview on WW2TV.

  • 1.12.2021

    To satisfy the pent-up demand among lovers of military history for a more immersive experience, Saul has founded the first global Military History Club (MHC): an exclusive forum that allows members to sample digital content (in the form of newsletters, podcasts, videos and magazines), but also the opportunity to engage with top military historians round the dinner table, attend book launches and bespoke history tours, and even try their hand at writing for the club’s annual e-publication Militaria.

    So if, unlike Groucho Marx, you are happy to join a club that will have you as a member, do visit the MHC website –  www.militaryhistoryclub.org – and fill in the online application form. Saul is looking for bright and curious individuals of all ages, backgrounds and levels of knowledge. All he asks is that you have a love of military history and a thirst to know more.

  • 22.11.2021

    Saul’s will be talking about his bestselling SBS: Silent Warriors at the beautiful new venue for his local bookshop Topping & Co in Bath on Wednesday 24 November 2021 at 7.30pm. Click here for more information and to buy a ticket

  • 22.11.2021

    Saul’s SBS: Silent Warriors has been named one of the Daily Telegraph‘s 75 best books of 2021: The 75 best books of 2021 telegraph

  • 28.10.2021

    Saul discusses his new book SBS: Silent Warriors with Rob Attar, editor of the BBC History Magazine. Click here to read or hear the interview on the HistoryExtra podcast

  • 25.10.2021

    Saul discusses SBS: SILENT WARRIORS with James Rogers on his History Hit Warfare podcast. Click the link to listen. https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/warfare/id1526490428

  • 25.10.2021

    Reviewing Saul’s new book SBS: SILENT WARRIORS in November 2021’s issue of History Today magazine, Rupert Edis writes: ‘Excellent…wonderful book… David makes a strong case for the strategic importance of the tiny SBS to the Allied victory.’

Broadcasting

An experienced TV and radio broadcaster.

Saul 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 2019 he presented Prince Albert: A Victorian Hero Revealed, and part of a series on great inventions (‘Revolutions’). In 2021 he appears in Netflix’s series Road to Victory in Colour.