Biography Writer. Journalist specializing in Politics and Economics
Nicholas Wapshott is an author, journalist and biographer who is both British and American. Having worked on The Scotsman, The Times, The Observer and The Sunday Telegraph, he was the national and foreign editor of the New York Sun, was part of the launch team for The Daily Beast, was editorial director of Oprah Winfrey's website oprah.com and is now the International Editor of Newsweek.
Alongside his journalism he has always written biographies which display his dual interest in both the cinema and political economy. His first was a hugely entertaining and funny life of the rapscallion Peter O'Toole. His second was of another actor: Margaret Thatcher, whose rise, premiership and fall he reported at close quarters for The Times and The Observer.
His third life was of one of the masters of British cinema, Carol Reed, and it remains the definitive biography of the director of The Third Man. He was helped by, among others, Graham Greene, who wrote three screenplays for Reed, and an actor who worked with Reed before and after World War II, Rex Harrison, who became the subject of Wapshott's fourth biography.
There was a short withdrawal from writing books when he became first the editor of The Times's Saturday magazine, then overall editor of the Saturday edition. He moved to live in New York City just before the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001, eventually left The Times and joined the Sunday Telegraph as a business feature writer and news reporter.
At this time he wrote a joint lift of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, using his extensive background knowledge of Thatcher and revealing in detail for the first time, with the help of 20 years of recently opened public archives, the extent of their political and personal friendship. ""Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher: A Political Marriage, for Sentinel"" (Penguin), remains the key inside account of this fascinating and formidable political alliance.
Wapshott's next book, for ""W.W.Norton"", considerably changed his reputation. ""Keynes Hayek: the clash that defined modern economics"", became an instant classic, an essential requirement for students of economics and political economy as well as politicians taking part in the great debate over whether, in light of the Crash of 2008 and the Great Recession, governments should intervene in an attempt to restore growth or whether it was best to leave the market to cure the Slump. The account tells for the first time the personal and intellectual duel between the two standard bearers of Keynesian economics and the rearguard action of market economists which continues to rage among politicians and economists to this day.
November 2014 saw publication of ""The Sphinx: Franklin Roosevelt, the Isolationists and the Road to World War II"", which again used an historical story to address a current political movement: the war weariness of Americans and a return to isolationism that emerged ten years after the US fought wars simultaneously in Afghanistan and Iraq. The book tells for the first time how FDR used all his political wiles to turn around public opinion in favor of helping Britain against the dictators against fierce opposition from some of the most influential Americans of the time: William Randolph Hearst, Charles Lindbergh, Joseph Kennedy Sr., Henry Ford and Walt Disney.