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Duncan Campbell-Smith

Author and historian


After ten years spent researching and writing institutional biographies, it seemed time in 2017 to try the real thing – with the biography of an aero-engineer whose achievements helped to change the world in the twentieth century. JET MAN: The Making and Breaking of Frank Whittle, the Genius of the Jet Revolution is scheduled for publication by Head of Zeus in September 2020.

Always assuming, of course, that my brilliant editor and his impressively enterprising colleagues manage to keep All Systems Go in defiance of the dread coronavirus, which I’m sure they will. The production of books (and revision of websites) would seem to be among the more resilient of activities at this perilous hour … One thought that recurs again and again: what would happen to us if the unprecedented demands being made of the global internet suddenly precipitated a cataclysmic crash? With no internet traffic, we really would be in a mess. It will be apparent that I understand nothing whatever about how it works. As long as it does, I shall keep faith in it …

Obviously there is time to catch up now on all those bulky volumes you meant to read in the past but didn’t. So grab a copy of my history of Britain’s Royal Mail, Masters of the Post, which was published by Penguin Allen Lane in November 2011 and came out in paperback in 2012. Details of this and earlier titles are set out on this site. Still awaiting release is Crossing Continents, my commissioned history of the Standard Chartered Bank which I hope to see published by Penguin Allen Lane in 2021.


Duncan Campbell Smith