Tuesday, May 6, 2008

About Michael Dobbs

He's never had a proper job. Perhaps that's because he's spent so much of his life hanging around all the wrong places at interesting times. He was a doctoral student at the Fletcher ScHhool of Law & Diplomacy in Massachusetts during the early 1970's, and worked on the Boston Globe all the way through the Watergate crisis and the end of the Vietnam War. Then he went back to the UK and was with Margaret Thatcher when she took her first steps into Downing Street as Prime Minister, and he was there again with John Major when he was kicked out. In between he got bombed, got banished from Downing Street (after a row with Maggie), and in the quieter moments he wrote a book called House of Cards. One leading politician said it had done for his job "what Dracula has done for baby sitting".

Born in 1948 on the same day as Prince Charles, Michael was Chief of Staff and later Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party. And somewhere along the way he managed to pick up a doctorate in nuclear defence studies.In his restless search for a proper job, Michael has also been Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, the global advertising agency, he has presented a live BBC current affairs programme and written for many newspapers. Yet it's as an author that he has gained most plaudits. After creating the iconic figure of Francis Urquhart he has gone on to write books about Prime Ministers, Kings and the Dalai Lama. He also recently finished a series of novels about Winston Churchill that had the critics falling over themselves in praise, and which is currently being published in the US.

He is a highly skilled raconteur and is much in demand for corporate and literary events. He has also helped raise many tens of thousands of pounds for charities in recent years. Yes, there is a softer side to him. But it is for his analysis of the scandalous world of politics that he is best known. One newspaper described Dobbs as "Westminster's baby-faced hit man." Another said he was "a man who, in Latin America, would have been shot."But one thing he is not is the other Michael Dobbs - the author, distant cousin and much-respected former diplomatic correspondent of the Washington Post. He's written wonderful books about Nazi spies (The Saboteurs), the world on the brink of nuclear disaster (One Minute to Midnight) and a classic biography of Madeleine Albright. All great reads, but none of them fiction.

More from his web site at: http://www.michaeldobbs.com/

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