Fred Taylor was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England, and educated at local state schools and Aylesbury Grammar School. In 1967 he was awarded a history scholarship to Oxford University, where he read History and Modern Languages (German). After graduating he pursued postgraduate studies at the University of Sussex, where he was awarded a Volkswagen Studentship and travelled widely in East and West Germany researching a thesis on the German far-right before 1918. He has since worked as a publisher, a translator of fiction and non-fiction, a novelist and scriptwriter. He edited and translated The Goebbels Diaries 1939-1941 as well as several German works of popular history. He has reviewed books for the London Sunday Times, the Literary Review, and the Financial Times, and most recently has been a regular reviewer for the Wall Street Journal.

Since the publication of Dresden Tuesday 13 February 1945 Fred has lectured widely and appeared on expert panels, in venues as various as the Hay-on-Wye Festival (panel with Anthony Beevor and AC Grayling), the Edinburgh Book Festival (2004 and 2006), the Salisbury Festival, the World War II Experience Centre Series of Lectures, the Reform Club (London), and Dresden Town Hall, where in January 2005 he delivered the keynote lecture (in German) at a day seminar organised by the Hannah Arendt Institute. Fred has participated in BBC Radio’s Start the Week and Night Waves and has also contributed to The Today Programme. He appeared as an on-screen commentator for Channel 4 Television’s Bomber Crew and has also been interviewed regularly on National Public Radio in the USA. His second major historical book, The Berlin Wall: 13 August 1961 - 9 November 1989, was published in 2006 in Britain and in June 2007 in the USA. Dresden has been translated into ten languages, and The Berlin Wall into fifteen, including most recently Chinese.

Exorcising Hitler, about the destruction and resurgence of Germany after 1945 (published in Germany as Zwischen Krieg und Frieden), appeared in 2011. The Downfall of Money (German: Die Inflation), the astonishing story of Germany's 1920s era of hyperinflation and its influence on the country's future, was published in September 2013 in Britain, the USA and Germany.

Fred's latest book, Coventry, was published on 22 October 2015 in the UK (November 2015 in the USA and Germany). It tells the dramatic story of the bombing of the historic Midlands city by the Luftwaffe in World War II, based on wide-ranging English and German language sources. The paperback edition was published in September 2016.

Currently Fred is working on a unique "people's history" of the time between the 1938 Munich Agreement and the invasion of Poland a year later -- when the fuse was lit for a world war that very few ordinary people seem to have wanted. For this he is drawing on an extraordinarily wide range of little known personal and diary accounts as well as social and political sources and evidence from popular culture, covering the reactions of both the British and the German peoples during the countdown to military catastrophe. The book is scheduled for completion early in 2018.

Fred has three grown-up children and now lives with his wife, the American poet and writer Alice Kavounas, in Cornwall, United Kingdom. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of Great Britain. He is represented for books, broadcasting and other professional activity by the Jane Turnbull Agency


© 2007-2016 Frederick Taylor