Taylor Downing

Taylor Downing is a historian, writer and broadcaster. He has written several best selling books and has produced more than 200 television documentaries many of which have won Awards.


To mark the publication of Taylor's new book 1942 - Britain at the Brink, Dan Snow has interviewed Taylor for his immensely popular History Hit podcast. See:


Taylor's new book 1942 - Britain At The Brink was published in January 2022. It was reviewed by Max Hastings in The Sunday Times and was serialised in the Mail on Sunday. See


Taylor appeard in Radio 4's Past Forward series in January to mark the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the BBC. See


Taylor appeared in a series of tv documentaries to mark the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbour called Attack on Pearl Harbor: Minute by Minute. The series was shown on Channel 5 in the UK and on National Geographic and Netflix in the US. Taylor appeared in every episode and was the only British historian in the series. See


Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook's The Rest Is History podcast includes an episode recorded with Taylor about his book 1983: The World At the Brink. Tom and Dominic are effusive about the book and Taylor talks of nuclear scares across the Cold War as well as events in 1983. See: https://play.acast.com/s/the-rest-is-history-podcast/85.nuclearweapons

Taylor has contributed to several podacsts and given many on-line lectures during Lockdown including for the popular We Have Ways of Making You Talk podcast with historian James Holland and comedian Al Murray:


And for the first podcast of the At the Brink series produced by the William Perry Project in the US:


Taylor's previous book, written with Maya Lasker-Wallfisch, follows the impact of the Holocaust over three generations of a German-Jewish family and deals with the challenges of trans-generational trauma. Entitled Letter to Breslau it has been published in Germany by Suhrkamp Insel as Briefe nach Breslau where it has been a best seller.

Taylor provided media commentary on the 75th anniversary of D-Day for CNN International across the commemorations in June 2019.

Taylor's book 1983 - The World at the Brink has now been published in Russian. It was shortlisted for a highly prestigious book prize, the Pushkin Prize. See


Taylor's book on the little known Cold War scare entitled 1983 - The World at the Brink was published in April 2018 and came ut in paperback later in the year.

The book has generated immense interest and some great reviews. Historian Tom Holland has tweeted about 'Taylor Downing's gripping and frankly terrifying book on the US-Soviet nuclear confrontation.'

Dominic Sandbrook in The Sunday Times wrote 'Downing has written a carefully researched and hugely readable acount...Like the plot of some blockbuster by Frederick Forsyth, Downing's book piles up events with frightening speed.'

The book which has been serialised in the Daily Mail who described it as 'rivetting' is being called 'a real-life thriller'. Click on: 1983


Taylor's previous media appearances, of which there have been many, include:

Taylor interviewed for Centenary News:


Taylor interviewed on CNN International once again by Christiane Amanpour  to discuss the 70th anniversary of VE Day:


In 2015 Taylor was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Fellows are elected because of their 'original contribution to historical scholarship'. Taylor said he was 'flattered and delighted' to become a Fellow of the RHS:




The World at War is now available: The landmark documentary series The World at War remains the most influential and renowned history programme ever produced by British television. Taylor Downing's book traces how the series came about and looks at it in the context of the development of History programming on Television in Britain.

Spies in the Sky was short listed for the prestigious Royal United Services/Duke of Westminster Award for Military Literature. The award was won by All Hell Let Lose by Max Hastings. Taylor was delighted to be short listed with such a distinguished group of historians that also included Gary Sheffield, John Gaddis and David Stevenson.


Video links:

Taylor on Churchill's War Lab



Other video links on the Television page

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