Books by Alistair Horne

HUBRIS by Alistair Horne
Released: Nov. 17, 2015

"A conventional but thoughtful illustration of the stupidity of war."
After more than 50 years of writing about military matters, veteran historian Horne (Kissinger: 1973, The Crucial Year, 2009, etc.) reflects on "the common features of warfare that stood out over the ages."Read full book review >
KISSINGER by Alistair Horne
Released: June 1, 2009

"Occasionally distracting footnotes aside, an admiring treatment of Kissinger and an intriguing examination of the fraught Nixon/Kissinger relationship."
Inquisitive look at a year in the life of Henry Kissinger, who said, "I was the glue that held it together in 1973—and I'm not being boastful." Read full book review >
LA BELLE FRANCE by Alistair Horne
Released: Aug. 25, 2005

"A pleasure for Francophile readers, balancing the recent space of dimwitted screeds against a nation that dares to go its own way, hyperpuissance be damned."
A sweeping, literate history of a nation that the English-speaking powers have found vexatious and puzzling—but certainly never boring. Read full book review >
SEVEN AGES OF PARIS by Alistair Horne
Released: Nov. 15, 2002

"A lively primer of Parisian history, just the right companion for travelers to the city seeking a deeper understanding of the view before them."
A fittingly illuminating history of la ville lumière and of the great men and women who have passed beneath the gates of the French capital. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 31, 1994

A chatty, meandering memoir of the British historian widely known for his definitive, two-volume biography of the late prime minister Harold Macmillan (1989). As a ``bundle from Britain''—a child evacuee to America during WW II—Horne is able to offer an interesting perspective on events and attitudes in the US prior to and shortly after this country entered the war, in particular a strong anti-British sentiment that changed only with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Horne's story begins in England with a rather drawn-out portrait of his journalist mother, Auriol, who died an untimely death in an automobile accident. After delivering an exhaustive account of every member of his extended family—including amusing anecdotes about some of their more notorious servants—Horne details his dreary and often brutal experiences in British boarding schools. In July 1940, he boarded the Britannic, bound for New York City and safety. He was ``adopted'' by the prestigious Cutler family and spent the next three years attending Millbrook Academy and living among the cream of East Coast society. Horne is not above a bit of name-dropping and often interrupts his narrative with detailed personal histories of famous friends, acquaintances, and relatives of the Cutlers. Upon graduation from Millbrook, Horne attempted to join the RAF but was disqualified because of poor eyesight. He returned to England, where he managed to be accepted into the Coldstream Guard. Horne has a keen eye for significant historical events, but he buries his day-to-day reminiscences beneath an avalanche of information—his story seems more researched than remembered. The same qualities that produce brilliance in his historical writings—a penchant for detail and a pursuit of the social connections that bind his subjects together into complex entanglements—render his autobiography detached and impersonal. Read full book review >
HAROLD MACMILLAN by Alistair Horne
Released: March 31, 1989

From British historian Horne (Napoleon, Master of Europe 1805-1807; A Savage War of Peace; etc.), the first volume of a multivolume, definitive biography of the British statesman. Like Churchill, Macmillan was born of an American mother—although, unlike the promiscuous Jennie Churchill, Nellie MacMillan played a dominant and highly influential role in her son's career. And unlike Churchill, Macmillan did not have an ancestry steeped in English history. Instead, he was born of the prominent publishing finn that bears his surname to this day. Macmillan's first 40 years were laden with ironies that Home blends into a tale of riveting interest. Constitutionally shy, the future PM was forced to challenge his shyness by his mother's persistent goading and her manipulation of him into important contacts as if he were a piece on her personal chessboard. A peaceful man of deep intellect, Macmillan found himself near death on three different occasions on the battlefields of WW I. An awkward speaker, he also found himself, at age 30, propelled into a seat in Parliament. An adoring husband, his dual attentions of his political and publishing careers led his wife to carry on, openly, a lifelong affair with Robert Boothby. Finally, often considered second to Churchill as Britain's greatest statesman, it took Macmillan fully 14 years to reach a position of national leadership, and until his 63rd year to attain the prime ministry. In between, he served as liaison between Churchill and Eisenhower, as treasury director, and as foreign secretary. Intensely researched, detailed, and readable: an excellent biography. Volume II will cover Macmillan's prime ministry. Read full book review >