Biography

Paul Ham is a historian specialising in war, conflict and politics. Born and raised in Sydney, Paul has spent his working life in London, Sydney and Paris. His books have been published to critical acclaim in Australia, Britain, the United States and many other countries, and have won several literary awards. A former correspondent for The Sunday Times, Paul has a Masters degree in Economic History from the London School of Economics. He lives wherever his family is - in Paris, Sydney or London - and takes time off now and then to produce the Big Fat Poetry Pig-Out, for charity.

 

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New Jerusalem:

 

The Short Life and Terrible Death of Christendom's Most Defiant Sect

  

Penguin Random House (Australia / NZ)

In February 1534 a radical religious sect whose disciples were being persecuted throughout Europe seized the walled city of Münster, in the German-speaking land of Westphalia. They were convinced they were God’s Elect, specially chosen by the Almighty to be the first to ascend to Paradise on Judgement Day.

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​Young Hitler:

 

The Making of the Führer

  

Penguin Random House (UK and Australia/NZ); Pegasus (USA); Objetiva (Brazil); Dioptra (Greece); Zeplin (Turkey); Omega (Czech Republic) 2017-2018

 

By peeling back the layers of Hitler's childhood, war record and early political career, Paul Ham's Young Hitler: The Making of the Führer reveals the man behind the myth, and answers a question fundamental to the emergence of Nazism: How did Hitler’s experience of the Great War determine and shape his rise to power?

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​Passchendaele:

 

Requiem for Doomed Youth

  

Penguin Random House (UK and Australia/NZ) 2017

Winner of the 2018 Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction

Passchendaele: Requiem For Doomed Youth shows how ordinary men experienced one of the worst battles on the Western Front, with a very real awareness that they were being gradually, deliberately, wiped out. The soldiers on both sides were the pawns in a political and military power struggle that determined their fate and has foreshadowed the destiny of the world for a century.

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1914:

 

The Year the World Ended

  

Penguin Random House (UK and Australia/NZ) 2013
Winner of the 2015 Queensland Literary Prize for Non-Fiction

 

In August 1914 the largest armies ever assembled met on a vast battlefield. Within a few months they would fight themselves to a standstill, plunging the world in a war that will kill or wound 37m people, tear down the fabric of society, uproot sclerotic empires and set the world on course for the bloodiest century in human history. Paul Ham's 1914 explains why the governments of Europe decided war was inevitable, and why they kept fighting for four long years.   

 

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1913:

The Eve of War

  

Kindle Single, Endeavour Media 2014

 

In this controversial and concise essay, Paul Ham argues that the First World War was not a historical mistake, a conflict into which the Great Powers 'sleepwalked', or stumbled by accident. Nor was it a just war. Most politicians and generals of the day willed the world to war, or acquiesced in the decision. All planned for it in detail, and once it was declared, found themselves caught up in an inferno they could no longer control.

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Hiroshima Nagasaki:

 

The Real Story of the Atomic Bombings and their Aftermath

  

HarperCollins 2010, Picador 2015

Honourable commendation in the Australian Prime Minister's Prize for History

Hiroshima Nagasaki presents the grisly, unadorned truth about the bombings, blurred for so long by postwar propaganda and wilful ignorance, and transforms our understanding of one of the defining events of the twentieth century.

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Sandakan:

 

The Untold Story of the Sandakan Death Marches

  

Penguin Random House (UK and Australia/NZ) 2012
Shortlisted for the Australian Prime Minister's Prize for History

During the war in the Pacific, 2,500 Australian and British prisoners were sent to Sandakan, in British North Borneo, reputed to be the worst Japanese POW camp in Asia. In 1945 1,000 of them were forced marched into the heart of the island; six survived. This is the harrowing story of one of the worst atrocities of the Pacific War.

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Vietnam:

 

The Australian War

  

HarperCollins 2008
Winner of the NSW Premier's Prize for History

Shortlisted for the Walkley Book Award

 

Paul Ham’s Vietnam: The Australia War, now a feature-length documentary, has provoked great controversy – and praise – for its devastating account of Australia’s 15 year involvement in the war in Indochina.

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Kokoda

  

HarperCollins 2004

Shortlisted for the Walkley Book Award

 

For the first time Paul Ham tells the astonishing story of the infamous battle along the Kokoda Track - and the first major land defeat of the Japanese - from both sides of the conflict, offering rare insights into the minds of soldiers clashing in what has been called the most shocking battlefield in history.

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