Richard Bassett


Richard Bassett is a Bye-Fellow of Christ’s College Cambridge and a visiting Professor at the Central Europe University in Budapest. He is the author of the widely praised “For God and Kaiser”, (Yale 2015), the first definitive history to be published in English of the k. (u.) k. Armee.

After studying Law at Cambridge, he was taught Art History by Sir Anthony Blunt at the Courtauld Institute of Art and wrote his thesis on the architecture of Josef Plečnik. While researching this he worked for a year as principal horn-player of the Ljubljana Opera House. From 1982 until 1991, he was The Times correspondent in Central and Eastern Europe, based at first in Vienna and then Warsaw and finally Rome from where he observed the imminent disintegration of Yugoslavia.

In 1991, he left The Times to work as special advisor on Eastern Europe to Lord Rothschild and went on to hold various senior positions in a number of financial institutions. He retired from the London City in 2013, to complete his book on the Habsburg Army, write a biography of the late and distinguished British politician, Julian Amery, and  research “Last Days Along the Curtain”, a memoir of his time in Central Europe between 1979 and 1989. This book will be published next year by Allen Lane/Penguin and is divided into three parts: Trieste 1979 Vienna 1985 and Prague 1989.

Richard Bassett is also the author of a best-selling biography of Admiral Canaris which has been translated into 16 languages and several books on Central European themes.