James Fergusson

James is a specialist on Islamic extremism, at home as well as abroad, and has made a point in his career of approaching his subject from an unexpected angle. For his book,  A Million Bullets, his research in the field was spent not embedded with the British Army but with the Taliban.

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James Fergusson started out in journalism in 1989 on the Independent. He has written for many publications since, covering current affairs in Europe, North and East Africa, the Far East, the Caribbean and, especially, Central Asia and Afghanistan. For three years he was also the political features editor of Robert Maxwell's ill-fated newspaper, The European.

From 1998 to 2000 he worked in Sarajevo as a press spokesman for the Office of the High Representative, the body charged with implementing the Dayton Peace Accord that ended Bosnia's civil war in 1995. This was followed by a spell at Hakluyt & Co, the London-based corporate intelligence firm.

His first book, Kandahar Cockney: A Tale of Two Worlds  (Harper Collins, 2004), was a Radio 4 Book of the Week, and told the story of Mir, his Afghan fixer/interpreter whom he helped gain political asylum in London.

His second, The Vitamin Murders: Who Killed Healthy Eating in Britain? (Portobello Books, 2007) concerned the mysterious death of Sir Jack Drummond, Britain's top government food scientist during World War Two. It was shortlisted for the the André Simon Award for gastronomic literature.

A Million Bullets: The Real Story of the British Army in Afghanistan (Transworld 2008) was the British Army'sMilitary Book of the Year, and became required reading on many Staff College courses. This was followed in 2010 by the Taliban - The True Story of the World's Most Feared Guerrilla Fighters, an argument for a negotiated settlement to the war in Afghanistan.

His latest book, The World's Most Dangerous Place, (Transworld, January 2013) deals with Somalia and its diaspora, and the security threat that the newest battle front against Al Qaida poses to the West.

He is married with four children, and lives in Edinburgh.

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