Books by Stephen Budiansky

Stephen Budiansky, journalist and military historian, is the author of nine books about history, science, and nature, including Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II. He publishes frequently in The New York Times and The Washi

Released: June 30, 2016

"In a book that is more nuanced and far more entertaining that the revelations of Edward Snowden, Budiansky does not ignore the NSA's accomplishments but reveals plenty of unsettling behavior that has so far persuaded Congress and the president, always anxious to demonstrate their patriotism, to enact mild reforms."
A skillful history of America's World War II code-breaking and the rise of the National Security Agency. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 20, 2013

"An engrossing work rich in insights and anecdotes."
Little-known story of the Allied scientists whose unconventional thinking helped thwart the Nazi U-boats in World War II. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 20, 2011

"Highly readable and especially useful as an overview of the early days of the U.S. Navy."
This early entry in the likely flood of books on the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 focuses on the naval action. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 28, 2008

"The Longstreet episode is one of the best in the book, which covers ground well discussed elsewhere in the historical literature."
Serviceable overview of vigilante violence in the Reconstruction-era South and its victims. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 22, 2005

"For both scholar and lay reader, a historical study that makes us wish for more like it on subjects too often only glanced at."
Versatile nonfiction author Budiansky (Air Power, 2004, etc.) takes on the career of Elizabeth I's wily Puritan ambassador, in an occasionally clotted but ultimately riveting study. Read full book review >
Released: April 12, 2004

"Highly readable: a fine complement to Tom Crouch's recent Wings: A History of Aviation, from Kites to the Space Age (2003), and likely to be required reading at the Air Force Academy in years to come."
A well-rendered history of the technological and institutional transformations that have made the air a place for ground warriors to fear. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 10, 2000

"A marvelous history, full of color, drama, conflict, and tragedy. Besides being a terrific read, it illustrates one often overlooked reason why the Allieds won the war: they were smarter."
Secret codes are as old as writing, but the science of codebreaking remained a minor field until the invention of the telegraph and radio made rapid communication easy, essential—and public. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 2, 2000

"Every dog has his day: now he also has his own playful but serious scientific study."
A scientist tracks the evolutionary adaptation of the lone, endangered wolf into man's ubiquitous best friend. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1998

"This book is another of those small, indispensable steps that shuffle toward knowledge."
Budiansky (The Nature of Horses, 1997, etc.) stakes out a middle ground between radical behavioralists and cognitive ethologists in this investigation into the workings of animal intelligence. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1997

"As a science journalist, Budiansky brings together a wealth of equine research; as the devoted horseman he is, he knows there is more than the objective interface, and that magic is a persistent part of the equation. (70 drawings and photos)"
Budiansky, a writer at U.S. News and World Report, may not provide as many ``insights into the true nature of the beast'' as he hopes, but he serves up fascinating historical, behavioral, and biological nuggets about our equine friends. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 14, 1995

"Expect fierce outcries from the Walden crowd."
Wonderful splashes of ice water to chill the hearts and dampen the enthusiasm of the most die-hard environmentalists. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 20, 1992

"Ambrosia for anyone—whether in agreement with Budiansky or not—who appreciates the beauty of an argument that combines careful scholarship with common sense."
A subtle look at the mysteries of evolution and a stinging response to animal-rights extremists, as Budiansky, a Maryland farmer and assistant managing editor of U.S. News and World Reports, debuts with this hardheaded examination of the whys and hows of human-animal interaction. Read full book review >