Robert Harris
Robert Harris
Robert Dennis Harris is an English novelist. He is a former journalist and BBC television reporter.
Robert Harris's personal information overview.
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Internet Surveillance Bill Could Become Disturbing Reality For UK
Huffington Post - over 1 year
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Huffington Post article
Florida man drove dead body to attorney's office: police
Yahoo News - almost 2 years
By Barbara Liston ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) - Florida detectives are investigating the case of a man who drove to his lawyer's office with a dead body in the bed of his pickup truck, authorities said on Thursday. John Marshall, 52, said he shot his neighbor in self-defense during a scuffle involving a gun, his attorney, Robert Harris, told the Fort Myers News-Press and WINK-TV. The lawyer reported the death of 65-year-old Theodore Hubbell, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, which said it had not made any arrests. The men were neighbors in Bokeelia, a community of about 2,000 people on Pine Island in southwest Florida, according to sheriff's spokesman Tony Schall.
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Yahoo News article
Archaeologists Carbon-Date Camel Bones, Discover Major Discrepancy In Bible Story
Huffington Post - about 3 years
Researchers Lidar Sapir-Hen and Erez Ben-Yosef from Tel Aviv University have discovered what may be a discrepancy in the history laid out in the Bible. Using carbon-dating to determine the age of the oldest-known camel bones, the researchers determined that camels were first introduced to Israel around the 9th century BCE. The Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament refers to camels as pack animals as early as the story of Abraham. Though there is no archaeological evidence of Abraham's life, many in the religious and scientific communities, including Chabad and the Associates For Biblical Research, cite the 20th century BCE as his time of birth. If the new evidence is correct, however, this suggests discrepancies between the Bible and human history as explained by science. The researchers scoured ancient copper production sites in the Aravah Valley, where camel bones were only present in sites active in the last third of the 10 century and the 9th century BCE. Sapir-Hen and Ben-Yosef wri ...
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Huffington Post article
Books of The Times: ‘An Officer and a Spy’ Is Robert Harris’s Latest Novel
NYTimes - about 3 years
In “An Officer and a Spy,” the novelist Robert Harris looks at the Alfred Dreyfus affair through a fictional lens.     
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NYTimes article
A Sordid Affair Finds Its Hero
Wall Street Journal - about 3 years
How Robert Harris, in his new novel "An Officer and a Spy," figured out how to dramatize the complex late-19th-century Dreyfus affair.
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Wall Street Journal article
Égalité Après la Guerre: How War Affects in-Group Fairness
Huffington Post - about 3 years
Over the last few evenings, I inhaled Robert Harris' novelisation of France's infamous Dreyfus affair. Told from the point of view of Colonel Georges Picquart, the intelligence officer whose scrupulous honesty finally established Dreyfus' innocence, An Officer and a Spy breathes life into historic events. Events I last encountered in a claustrophobic mid-80's high school class, from the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1) to J'Accuse, the impassioned open letter to the French President by which Émile Zola brought Picquart's arguments to public light. Georges Picquart (1854-1914), protagonist of Robert Harris' book, An Officer and a Spy, about the Dreyfus affair. Wikimedia commons More than a history, though, the novelist in Harris evokes the prevailing social milieu and the psychology of his characters. The loss of Alsace (where both Picquart and Dreyfus spent their early years) and Lorraine to the Prussians in 1870-1 hangs palpably on the ageing French generals. As a result they choos ...
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Huffington Post article
Kathy Gill: Traditional Media Ignored Wendy Davis' Filibuster
Huffington Post - over 3 years
In May, Texas Governor Rick Perry added sweeping anti-abortion legislation to the agenda of a special session. The bills had been blocked during the regular session; in the special session, Republicans suspended the rules that facilitated the block. All bets were on successful passage. Matters came to a head in the state House on Thursday, June 20, when at least 700 people signed up to testify on HB60. This unprecedented response caused the hearing to run well into the wee hours of the next day. It also succeeded in delaying a vote in the House until Monday morning. On Sunday there was even more citizen participation; the Capitol building was overflowing with bodies, with some estimates at 1,500. Each delay made it more likely that the Democrats in the Senate could successfully filibuster the bill. On Monday, Senate Democrats blocked an effort to begin early discussion on the bill after GOP leaders unsuccessfully attempted to suspend a rule that requires a 24-hour wait p ...
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Huffington Post article
School Gate Politics Hits UK Bestseller List
Huffington Post - over 3 years
By Belinda Goldsmith LONDON (Reuters) - A British writer whose debut novel about mothers at the school gate sparked a seven-way bidding war between publishers has attributed the overnight success of her book to striking a chord with women used to negotiating the politics of female groups. The hype around "The Hive" led to Gill Hornby being described as publisher Little Brown's "most important new author of 2013" and NBC Universals' arthouse Focus Features snapped up the film rights even before the book's release on May 23. Hornby said she was slightly bemused by all the attention for her book which hit the top 10 bestselling fiction list in the UK in its first week, drawing comparisons to the huge success of EL James's "Fifty Shades of Grey" series last year. After all it is Hornby's first novel although she is far from new to publishing. She is married to Robert Harris, best-selling author of thrillers like "Eni ...
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Huffington Post article
Ethan Casey: Review: Lustrum by Robert Harris
Huffington Post - about 4 years
Once upon a time, novelists could be simultaneously serious and popular. Hemingway comes to mind, but even moreso Steinbeck, who had less literary pretension and more sustained and pointed topical engagement. Graham Greene aimed at once for contemporary relevance and durability, and more often than not hit the bulls-eye with later novels such as The Quiet American, The Comedians and The Human Factor. Lesser, or at least less remembered, writers such as Morris West and Nevil Shute took seriously both the craft of storytelling and the novelist's responsibility to have something of public significance to say. The British writer Robert Harris is a throwback to this tradition: a novelist who embraces a public role -- more for his books than for himself as a celebrity or personality -- and who aspires both to entertain and to edify. None other than Nelson Mandela has called him "a writer who handles suspense like a literary Alfred Hitchcock." He works with aplomb in several genres ...
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Huffington Post article
Books of the year 2012: authors choose their favourites
Guardian (UK) - over 4 years
From a meditation on walking Britain's ancient paths to an epic American novel, from reportage on life in a Mumbai slum to a blockbuster biography of LBJ ... writers choose their books of the year Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Eghosa Imasuen's Fine Boys (Farafina Books, available on Kindle) is, simply put, a very good read. It is about middle-class life in 1990s Nigeria, boys coming of age amid the lure of violence and the pull of young love. It is moving, funny and emotionally true. Pat Barker's Toby's Room (Hamish Hamilton) is magnificent; the characters have psychological depth, and she deals, in an honest, knowledgeable way with gender and art during the first world war. I finished it eagerly, wanting to know what happened next, and as I read, I was enjoying, marvelling and learning. Simon Armitage I've become a big fan of the short novel of late, something about the length of a day return from Leeds to London, so Denis Johnson's Train Dreams (Granta) was always going to appea ...
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Guardian (UK) article
Andrea Grossman: Why I Love Nick Hornby
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Nick Hornby's novels are funny, deeply moving, and they're elegies to pop culture -- rock music, mostly. If you haven't read High Fidelity, then download it or order it now. If you haven't read About A Boy, ditto. Juliet, Naked is a personal favorite -- about an aging and reclusive singer who straddles a shaky line between oblivion and cult hero. Novels don't get much more fun than this, and they turn into such good movies too. (Where's the film version of Juliet, Naked, by the way? Note to Hollywood: instead of endless and ridiculously expensive remakes of superhero films, how about a modest undertaking of a great story -- and Hornby is already a pretty capable screenwriter: he wrote the screenplay to An Education, another personal favorite. So get on it. Call me. I'll help.) The thing about Nick Hornby is that while he's a master of paying homage to pop culture in his novels, he devotes himself to the reading life as much as he does to the writing life. You can't b ...
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Huffington Post article
Supreme Court rejects appeal of Texas ex-con set to die Thursday
Fox News - over 4 years
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to stop the execution Thursday of an ex-con who confessed to killing five people at a Dallas-area car wash a week after he was fired from his job there. The high court's appeal rejection came a little more than an hour before Robert Wayne Harris was to be taken to the Texas death chamber for lethal injection. Harris, 40, was convicted of two of the five slayings 12 years ago at the Mi-T-Fine Car Wash in Irving. He also was charged with abducting and killing a woman months before the March 2000 spree and led police to her remains. Harris would be/would have been the eighth Texas prisoner executed this year. Another is set to die next week in the nation's most-active capital punishment state. Harris didn't deny the slayings, but his lawyer contended in appeals he was mentally impaired and should be spared because of a Supreme Court ban on execution of mentally impaired people. Attorney Lydia Brandt also questioned the makeup of Harris' jury at h ...
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Fox News article
The first Gore inaugural: Dubya is gone, but Bubba’s still here
Yahoo News - over 4 years
In the many-mansioned house of Alternate History, I occupy a small corner. The trio of what-ifs I chronicled in “Then Everything Changed” all begin with tiny, highly plausible twists of fate that lead to hugely consequential shifts in history. When the book was published, I was asked countless questions about other scenarios, via e-mail and during my talks about the book. There are bookshelves of such works, of course, including several volumes of essays by historians under the what-if heading, and novels by the score. Philip Roth’s “The Plot Against America”, recounting the election of Charles Lindbergh as president, is the most literary of such works; Robert Harris’s “Fatherland” and Philip K. Dick’s “The Man in the High Castle” both deal with a Nazi Germany victory in World War II.
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Yahoo News article
New In Paperback Aug. 20-26
NPR - over 4 years
In fiction, Robert Harris explores a financial crash and Jennifer DuBois recounts a fateful meeting. In nonfiction, Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum analyze how the U.S. lags, Tony Horwitz looks at abolitionist John Brown and Adam Gopnik considers the meaning of food. » E-Mail This     » Add to
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NPR article
Roman Polanski To Direct Political Drama D
On The Box - almost 5 years
Roman Polanski’s next feature film will the the political thriller D, based on the Dreyfus affair, one of the most high profile miscarriages of justices in history in which a French officer was wrongly accused of selling secrets to Germany. Captain Alfred Dreyfus was a member of the General Staff in the French Army when, 1894, he was suspected of espionage. He was subsequently secretly court martialed, found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island. Hope seemed to come from Colonel George Picquart, the newly arrived head of French counter-intelligence who realised that a huge mistake had been made and set about trying to prove Dreyfus’s innocence. But his probing landed him in trouble with his superiors and was eventually framed and packed off to jail himself. Dreyfus was eventually released but not after 12 years… Polanski, whose last film was taut play turned movie Carnage,  will once again team up with The Ghost‘s Robert Harris and is at the moment looking f ...
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On The Box article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Robert Harris
  • 2016
    Age 58
    Since the gap between his second and third appearance was nearly 16 years, Harris enjoyed the distinction of the longest gap between two successive appearances in the show's history until Eddie Izzard's first appearance after 20 years in 2016.
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    Conclave 2016 His next novel, Conclave, will be published on September 22, 2016.
    More Details Hide Details Harris announced on Twitter that the novel will be "set over 72 hours in the Vatican" and will follow "the election of a fictional Pope."
  • 2015
    Age 57
    Dictator 2015 Dictator is the long-promised conclusion to Harris's Cicero trilogy.
    More Details Hide Details It was published by Hutchinson on 8 October 2015.
  • 2013
    Age 55
    An Officer and a Spy 2013 An Officer and a Spy is the story of French officer Georges Picquart, a historical character, who is promoted in 1895 to run France's Statistical Section, its secret intelligence division.
    More Details Hide Details He gradually realises that Alfred Dreyfus has been unjustly imprisoned for acts of espionage committed by another man who is still free and still spying for the Germans. He risks his career and his life to expose the truth.
  • 2012
    Age 54
    Harris appeared on the American PBS show Charlie Rose on 10 February 2012.
    More Details Hide Details Harris discussed his novel The Fear Index which he likened to a modern-day Gothic novel along the lines of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Harris also discussed the adaptation of his novel, The Ghost that came out as the movie, The Ghost Writer directed by Roman Polanski. Harris was a columnist for the Sunday Times, but gave it up in 1997. He returned to journalism in 2001, writing for the Daily Telegraph. He was named "Columnist of the Year" at the 2003 British Press Awards. Harris lives in a former vicarage near Newbury, Berkshire, with his wife Gill Hornby, herself a writer and sister of best-selling novelist Nick Hornby. They have four children. Harris contributed a short story, "PMQ", to Hornby's 2000 collection Speaking with the Angel. Formerly a donor to the Labour Party, he renounced his support for the party after its appointment of Guardian journalist Seumas Milne as communications director, tweeting: "Council house born. Comprehensive-school educated. Voted Foot, Kinnock. But not for private-school apologists for IRA and Stalin. Sorry".
  • 2010
    Age 52
    On 2 December 2010, Harris appeared on the radio programme Desert Island Discs, when he spoke about his childhood and his friendships with Tony Blair and Roman Polanski.
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  • 2007
    Age 49
    He made a third appearance on the programme on 12 October 2007, seventeen years, to the day, after his first appearance.
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    In 2007, Harris wrote a screenplay of his novel Pompeii for director Roman Polanski.
    More Details Hide Details Harris acknowledged in many interviews that the plot of his novel was inspired by Polanski's film Chinatown, and Polanski said it was precisely that similarity that had attracted him to Pompeii. The film, to be produced by Summit Entertainment, was announced at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007 as potentially the most expensive European film ever made, set to be shot in Spain. Media reports suggested Polanski wanted Orlando Bloom and Scarlett Johansson to play the two leads. The film was cancelled in September 2007 as a result of a looming actors' strike. Polanski and Harris then turned to Harris's bestseller, The Ghost. They co-wrote a script and Polanski announced filming for early 2008, with Nicolas Cage, Pierce Brosnan, Tilda Swinton and Kim Cattrall starring. The film was then postponed by a year, with Ewan McGregor and Olivia Williams replacing Cage and Swinton.
    In 2007, after Blair resigned, Harris dropped his other work to write The Ghost.
    More Details Hide Details The title refers both to a professional ghostwriter, whose lengthy memorandum forms the novel, and to his immediate predecessor who, as the action opens, has just drowned in gruesome and mysterious circumstances. The dead man has been ghosting the autobiography of a recently unseated British prime minister called Adam Lang, a thinly veiled version of Blair. The fictional counterpart of Cherie Blair is depicted as a sinister manipulator of her husband. Harris told The Guardian before publication: "The day this appears a writ might come through the door. But I would doubt it, knowing him." Harris said in a US National Public Radio interview that politicians like Lang and Blair, particularly when they have been in office for a long time, become divorced from everyday reality, read little and end up with a pretty limited overall outlook. When it comes to writing their memoirs, they therefore tend to have all the more need of a ghostwriter.
    The Ghost 2007 Harris was an early and enthusiastic backer of British Prime Minister Tony Blair (a personal acquaintance) and a donor to New Labour, but the war in Iraq blunted his enthusiasm. "We had our ups and downs, but we didn't really fall out until the invasion of Iraq, which made no sense to me," Harris has said.
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  • 2006
    Age 48
    Imperium 2006 He followed this in 2006 with Imperium, the first novel in a trilogy centered on the life of the great Roman orator Cicero.
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  • 2003
    Age 45
    Pompeii 2003 In 2003 Harris turned his attention to ancient Rome with his acclaimed Pompeii.
    More Details Hide Details The novel is about a Roman aqueduct engineer, working near the city of Pompeii just before the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. As the aqueducts begin to malfunction, he investigates and realises the volcano is shifting the ground and damaging the system and is near eruption. Meanwhile, he falls in love with the young daughter of a powerful local businessman who was illicitly dealing with his predecessor to divert municipal water for his own uses, and will do anything to keep that deal going.
  • 1995
    Age 37
    Enigma 1995 His second novel Enigma portrayed the breaking of the German Enigma code during the Second World War at Bletchley Park.
    More Details Hide Details It too became a film, with Dougray Scott and Kate Winslet starring and with a screenplay by Tom Stoppard. Archangel 1998 Archangel was another international best seller. It follows a British historian in contemporary Russia as he hunts for a secret notebook, believed to be Stalin's diary. In 2005 the BBC made it into a mini-series starring Daniel Craig.
  • 1992
    Age 34
    Fatherland 1992 Harris's million-selling alternative-history first novel Fatherland has as its setting a world where Germany has won the Second World War.
    More Details Hide Details Publication enabled Harris to become a full-time novelist. HBO made a film based on the novel in 1994. Harris stated that the proceeds from the book enabled him to buy a house in the country, where he still lives.
  • 1982
    Age 24
    Harris's first book appeared in 1982.
    More Details Hide Details A Higher Form of Killing, a study of chemical and biological warfare, was written with fellow BBC journalist Jeremy Paxman. Other non-fiction works followed: Gotcha, the Media, the Government and the Falklands Crisis (1983), The Making of Neil Kinnock (1984), Selling Hitler (1986), an investigation of the Hitler Diaries scandal, and Good and Faithful Servant (1990), a study of Bernard Ingham, Margaret Thatcher's press secretary.
  • 1957
    Born on March 7, 1957.
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