Mark Seal has been a journalist for 34 years. Currently a contributing editor at VANITY FAIR, he has written for a long list of major magazines and served as a collaborator on almost 20 non fiction books. He lives in Aspen, Colorado.
Victor Sebestyen is the acclaimed author of TWELVE DAYS (W&N, 2006), REVOLUTION 1989 (W&N, 2009) and 1946 (Macmillan, 2014). He was born in Budapest. He was a child when his family left Hungary as refugees. As a journalist, he has worked for numerous British newspapers, including the EVENING STANDARD, DAILY MAIL and THE TIMES. He reported widely from Eastern Europe when Communism collapsed and the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. He covered the wars in former Yugoslavia and the breakup of the Soviet Union. At the EVENING STANDARD he was foreign editor, media editor and chief leader writer. He is an associate editor of NEWSWEEK.
Jonathan Spence is currently Sterling Professor of History at Yale University. In 1985 he was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Science and in 1988 he was named one of the Council of Scholars at the Library of Congress. He became an honorary professor at the University of Nanjing in 1994 and he is on the Governing Board of the Yale University Press.
Wladyslaw Szpilman was born in 1911. He studied the piano at the Warsaw Conservatory and at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. From 1945 to 1963 he was Director of Music at Polish Radio, and for many years he also pursued a career as a concert pianist and composer. He lived in Warsaw until his death in 2000.