Paul Johnson was born in 1928. He edited the New Statesman in the 1960s and has written over forty books. His Modern Times, a history of the world from the 1920s to the 1990s, has been translated into more than fifteen languages. As well as a weekly column in the Spectator, he contributes to newspapers all over the world.
Michael Stuermer is professor of history at the University of Erlangen-Nurnberg. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard, the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton, the Sorbonne, the University of Toronto and the Institute for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He has written and edited books on various subjects, including Europe and the Middle East.