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



'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.

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 published in the UK on 2 July 2015 and will appear in the US on 1 December 2015. The Sunday Telegraph commented: 'A brilliant, breathless account that reads like the plot of an action movie.'

News & Events

Latest news and planned events from Saul.

  • 8.10.2015

    Saul’s next speaking engagement is at the BBC History Magazine’s Malmesbury History Weekend on Saturday 17 October 2015. He will participate in two events: a talk about his new book Operation Thunderbolt at 3.30 p.m. and a historians’ debate (with Susannah Lipscomb, Tom Asbridge and Janina Ramirez) on the best period of history to study at 8 p.m. Click here to book tickets 

  • 8.10.2015

    The influential Publishers Weekly has described Operation Thunderbolt (out in the US on 1 December) as ‘an excellent account of the planning and execution of a successful high-risk operation’.

  • 22.09.2015

    The US edition of Operation Thunderbolt – published on 1 December 2015 – has been awarded a prestigious star for books of ‘exceptional merit’ by the influential Kirkus Reviews. Kirkus wrote: ‘With high tension and as many plot twists as any fictional thriller, this book is hard to put down.’ It has also been chosen as a main selection for the December brochure of the Military Book Club, the History Book Club and the Library of Science. Click here for full Kirkus review

  • 18.08.2015

    Saul’s Operation Thunderbolt has been chosen as one of the Irish Independent‘s 20 ‘super summer reads’. It describes the book as ‘fast-paced’ and ‘action-packed’.

  • 17.08.2015

    Saul’s Operation Thunderbolt was one of six books recommended by Maggie Fergusson, the literary editor of the Economist’s magazine Intelligent Life. She writes in the September/October issue: ‘Saul David carries us hour by hour from the hijack on June 27th to the denouement a week later in what was, and remains, the boldest rescue mission ever launched… He combines phenomenal research with the paciness of a thriller.’

  • 9.08.2015

    Two more critics have given the thumbs up to Saul’s new book Operation Thunderbolt. It’s a ‘ripping good read’, wrote Sam Kiley in the London Evening Standard, ‘and a meticulously researched work of history’. David Wilcock added in the Yorkshire Post: ‘Saul David’s book is a stylish addition to the canon’ that combines ‘the pacing of a thriller with the attention to detail of a scholarly work’. Click here to read Kiley’s full review

  • 19.07.2015

    In today’s Observer, Ben Shephard praises Saul’s new book as ‘meticulously researched, skilfully constructed, carefully balanced and absorbing… Combining the copious literature with interviews with participants, David tells the tale in a novelistic way, almost hour by hour, cutting from the hostages in the sweltering old terminal building in Entebbe to the government offices and military training grounds in Israel. The tension builds steadily.’ It was also chosen as The Week‘s Book of the Week, with quotes from the previous reviews in the Mail on SundaySunday TelegraphLiterary Review and Jewish Chronicle.

  • 16.07.2015

    Two more rave reviews of Saul’s new book have appeared in The Times and The Spectator. ‘Told with the style and pace of TV thrillers such as 24,’ wrote Tom Coghlan in The Times. Clare Mulley added in The Spectator: ‘Gripping… As the hours tick down to the threatened bloody denouement, tension mounts and the atmosphere thickens… A page-turner, with its single clear mission, cast of distinct personalities and very filmic scenes.’ Click here for full text of Spectator review


  • 5.07.2015

    Craig Brown, chief critic of the Mail on Sunday, gives Saul’s new book 5 stars in today’s newspaper. He writes: ‘It’s a brilliantly orchestrated book, wonderfully rich in detail, but at the same time roaring along at a heart-thumping pace… I embarked on this book as someone not particularly interested in the Middle East, or in adventure tales of soldiers in action; I finished it in a state of high tension, buzzing through the pages in the need to know what happened next.’ Click here for whole review

  • 4.07.2015

    Saul’s new book Operation Thunderbolt has received more praise in the Literary Review. ‘A wonderful narrative,’ writes Jonathan Mirsky. ‘For the first time in my reading life I felt physically thrilled by a book.’


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 2014 he presented The Equine Army for BBC1 (repeated on BBC4) and in 2015 will appear in programmes on the Spanish Armada, the Duke of Wellington, the Battle of Waterloo and the History of Spain.He will also present World War Two: A Timewatch Guide for BBC4.