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: 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

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

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. Troubled that our understanding of Equus caballus is badly flawed, Budiansky (Nature's Keepers, 1995) endeavors to set the record straight, clearing the air of ``what millenniums of tradition, love, and wishful thinking have sometimes muddled,'' and telling the horses' story through the ``objective tools of science.'' He starts at the beginning of domestication, 6,000 years ago, with the Sredni Stog people. Read full book review >

Released: Sept. 14, 1995

Wonderful splashes of ice water to chill the hearts and dampen the enthusiasm of the most die-hard environmentalists. Budiansky, a senior writer at US News and World Report, takes to task the naive ``greens,'' doctrinaire Sierra Club types, and even such icons as E.O. ``Biodiversity'' Wilson for their reverence for wildness and the wisdom of nature, in contrast to the intrusions of modern man. Read full book review >

Released: Feb. 20, 1992

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. Environmentalists and animal-rights advocates, Budiansky points out, tend to venerate the most romantic of wild beasts: wolves, whales, and the like. Read full book review >