Paul Ham

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Paul Ham is an Australian author, historian, journalist and publisher, who writes on the 20th century history of war, politics and diplomacy. He lives in Sydney and Paris.

Life and career[edit]

Between 1984 and 1998 Ham worked in London as a business and investment journalist – for the Financial Times Group and the Sunday Times (as its investment editor, 1994–1998). In 1992 he co-founded a financial newsletter publishing company, whose titles included 'Governance' and 'The Money Laundering Bulletin', which he sold in 1997. For part of that period Ham also worked part-time, as the editor of 'Amnesty', the magazine of the British headquarters of Amnesty International. On his return to Australia, in 1998, Ham was appointed the Australia correspondent for The London Sunday Times.

Between 2000 and 2003 he wrote his first book, Kokoda[1] – the story of the first land defeat of the Japanese in the Second World War; followed by Vietnam: The Australian War – a history of Australia's 15-year military involvement in Vietnam. Vietnam won the NSW Premier's Prize for Australian history, and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Prize for Non-Fiction; both Vietnam and Kokoda were shortlisted for the Walkley Award for Non-Fiction. His next book, Hiroshima Nagasaki: The Real Story of the Atomic Bombings and Their Aftermath,[2] a controversial history of the atomic bomb, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Prize for History and published in both Australia and Britain to critical acclaim.[citation needed]

In 2010 Ham co-wrote and presented the documentary, All the Way, produced by November Films in conjunction with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), based on his history of the Vietnam War. In 2008 he was involved in the production of a documentary based on "Kokoda", produced by Pericles Films, the ABC and Screen Australia. In 2012 Ham set up an electronic publishing business called Hampress, which publishes ebooks, audiobooks and short films.

In 2013 Ham published 1914: The Year the World Ended and his book Sandakan, released the previous year, was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards.

Ham has a master's degree in Economic History from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Charles Sturt University and attended The Scots College, Sydney.


  • Kokoda (HarperCollins 2004)
  • Vietnam: The Australian War (HarperCollins 2007)
  • Hiroshima Nagasaki: The Real Story of the Atomic Bombings and Their Aftermath (HarperCollins Australia 2011; Random House UK 2012; Thomas Dunne Books 2014)
  • Sandakan (Random House 2012)
  • 1914: The Year the World Ended (Random House 2013)