Geoffrey Wheatcroft was born in London in 1945, the son of an economist and a social worker, and educated at University College School in Hampstead and as a Scholar of New College, Oxford, where he read Modern History. In 1975, he joined the weekly Spectator as assistant editor, and from 1977 to 1981 was Literary Editor as well as columnist and reporter. He left to work freelance, to report from South Africa, and to write his first book. The Randlords, the story of the South African mining magnates and their legacy, was published in 1985 to acclaim both in England, where it was on the Sunday Times bestseller list, and in the United States, where it was a History Book Club Choice. In 1985-6 he edited the Londoner’s Diary of the Evening Standard, whose opera critic he subsequently became.After several years as a columnist with the Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Express he is now once more freelance, writing regularly for the Guardian, Spectator, and TLS in London, as well as the New York Times, New York Review of Books, Boston Globe and Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s in America. He was formerly a Contributing Editor to the New Republic, and for some years he broadcast as the British correspondent for Radio Ireland in Dublin.