Sir Max Hastings is an author, journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in every British national newspaper. He now reviews regularly for the Sunday Times. He has published twenty-seven books, among the most recent of which are VIETNAM An Epic History of a Tragic War (2018); THE SECRET WAR: Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-45 (2015); CATASTROPHE: Europe Goes to War 1914 (2013); ALL HELL LET LOOSE (2011); DID YOU REALLY SHOOT THE TELEVISION ?: A Family Fable (2010); FINEST YEARS: Churchill As Warlord 1940-45 (2009); and ARMAGEDDON: The Battle for Germany 1944-45 (2004). He has also published three collections of writing about the British countryside and field sports. The son and grandson of writers, he was educated at Charterhouse (scholar) and University College, Oxford (exhibitioner), from which he dropped out to become a journalist. In 1967-68 he worked in the US after winning a World Press Institute fellowship, an experience which inspired his first book AMERICA 1968:The Fire This Time, published when he was 23.
Thereafter, he spent most of his early years as a foreign correspondent for BBC TV and the London Evening Standard, reporting eleven conflicts, notably including Vietnam and the 1982 South Atlantic war, which inspired BATTLE FOR THE FALKLANDS, the 1983 best-seller he wrote with Simon Jenkins. He was editor, then editor-in-chief, of The Daily Telegraph from 1986-1995, and of the Evening Standard 1996-2002. He has described his journalistic career in two memoirs, GOING TO THE WARS (2000) and EDITOR (2002). His history of World War II ALL HELL LET LOOSE – titled INFERNO in the United States – was published in 2011. His history of World War I CATASTROPHE 1914 was published in 2013.
He has received awards both for his books and journalism. BOMBER COMMAND (1979) won the Somerset Maugham Prize. He was Journalist Of The Year and Reporter of the Year in the 1982 British Press Awards, and Editor Of The Year in 1988.
In 2008 he received the Westminster Medal of the RUSI for his lifetime contribution to Military Literature, and in 2009 the Edgar Wallace Trophy of the London Press Club.
In 2012 the Pritzker Military Library of Chicago presented him with its $100,000 Literary Award for lifetime achievement; and he again received the Duke of Westminster’s Medal for Military Literature for ALL HELL LET LOOSE.
In 2019 he received the Bronze Medal for the US Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Award for VIETNAM: An Epic History of a Tragic War.
He has presented many TV documentaries. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Honorary Fellow of King’s College, London, he has also received honorary degrees from Leicester and Nottingham universities. He was President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England 2002-2007, and a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery 1995-2004. He was knighted in 2002 for services to journalism. Now 73, he has two grown-up children, Charlotte who works for a London public relations company, and Harry who runs PlanSouthAmerica, a thriving travel business in Buenos Aires. Max lives with his wife Penny in West Berkshire, where they garden enthusiastically. Max’s niece Calypso Rose runs The Indytute. Brilliantly inspired lessons.