Hailed as «the greatest journalist of his time» Henry Wickham Steed (1871-1956) was editor-in-chief of The Times after World War I, having been its foreign editor since 1914, and, previously, its correspondent in Berlin, Vienna and Rome. «Spiritual godfather» of the post-Habsburg new states he was long acknowledged as the world’s greatest authority on Central Europe. In the 1930s, he stood at the forefront of the anti-appeasement camp and, in World War II, was the BBC’s Overseas Services chief broadcaster. Contemporaries remarked upon Steed’s impressive appearance, prodigious command of foreign languages, and extraordinary network of connections in high places. He was also a paradoxical personality of a liberal outlook and conservative disposition, torn too by complex personal relationships. Lionized abroad but denounced at home, Steed remained an outsider even as he reached the pinnacle of success in his chosen profession and exerted a significant influence on his times.
«Steed is a fascinating character, who moved easily and influentially between the worlds of journalism, diplomacy and academia […]. It has been a long wait for a biography, but this one is so thorough and definitive that I am sure it will be a long wait before a rival emerges.»
Prof. Tom Buchanan, University of Oxford
«This work constitutes the first biography of Wickham Steed who, […] was a seminal figure within the media and political worlds of both Britain and Europe during the earlier half of the twentieth century. […] Beyond offering us a personal history of a fascinating and highly influential figure, the author provides us with fresh insights into both British domestic politics and high society and the international diplomacy of a particularly turbulent era.»
Prof. Conan Fischer, University of St. Andrews