Thomas Harding (writer)

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Thomas Harding
Thomas Harding.jpg
Born 1968
London, England
Occupation Author and journalist
Writing career
Genre Non-fiction

Thomas Harding (born 1968) is a British/American non-fiction author, journalist, and former documentary maker.

Early life and education[edit]

Harding was educated at the Westminster School in London and then studied anthropology and political science at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He worked in television and journalism before becoming an author.


His book Hanns and Rudolf: The German Jew and the Hunt for the Kommandant of Auschwitz (2013) was a national bestseller in the UK, Italy and Israel and was chosen as a "Book of the Year" for 2013 by The Times, the Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Observer, the Daily Telegraph and the New Statesman. It was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Book Awards[1] and won the 2015 Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize for non-fiction.[2]

His next book, Kadian Journal, was published in 2014; it is about his son, who died in a cycling accident.[3] Doron Weber of the Washington Post described it as 'a fine, brave book, a tough-minded, tender-hearted evocation of a beautiful boy, his all-too-short life and the impact of his death on a loving family. Harding has done his boy proud and turned nightmare into art.' [4]

The House by the Lake, an account of the five families, including his grandmother, who resided in a house in Berlin,[5] was published in 2015 and was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards[6] and longlisted for the 2016 Orwell Prize.[7]


Harding has written for numerous newspapers including The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Independent, and The Financial Times. He also co-hosted a political talk show on WEPM (Martinsburg, West Virginia).

In December 2006 he became co-owner and publisher of the Shepherdstown Observer in West Virginia. In 2010 the newspaper won a Freedom of Information Act case before the West Virginia Supreme Court, which resulted in referendum petitions being released to it.[8][9][10][11] In 2010 he convinced John Doyle, a delegate in the West Virginia House of Delegates, of the need for a state law protecting reporters' privilege not to reveal their sources;[12] the reporters' shield bill sponsored by Doyle was passed by the West Virginia House and Senate in March 2011.[13] In March 2011 he sold his interest in the paper to editor David Lillard.

Videos and documentaries[edit]

Before moving to the USA, Harding co-founded and managed the environmental and social justice production company Undercurrents. During his time at the company Undercurrents won several awards and became known for covering stories not covered by other news organizations. Undercurrents became part of the DIY culture and general protest upswing in the 1990s.[14]

He and his wife were joint CEOs and co-founders of the Oxford Channel, a local television channel operating under a Restricted Service Licence. In 2000, the board voted to sell the station and its operating company to Milestone Group.[15] The station is no longer operational.

While in the USA, he helped develop the American Conservation Film Festival (ACFF), in partnership with the National Conservation Training Center.[16]


  • Hanns and Rudolf: The German Jew and the Hunt for the Kommandant of Auschwitz (2013, Random House)
  • Kadian Journal - A Father’s Story (2014, Random House)
  • The House By The Lake (2015, Random House)



  1. ^ Mark Brown, "Costa book awards 2013: late author on all-female fiction shortlist", The Guardian, 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b Josh Jackman, "Michel Laub and Thomas Harding win JQ-Wingate Prize for books on the Holocaust", Jewish Chronicle, 20 April 2015.
  3. ^ Helen Brown, "Kadian Journal by Thomas Harding, review: 'a heartbreaking record'", The Telegraph, 20 July 2014.
  4. ^ [1] Washington Post January 13, 2017
  5. ^ Adam Kirsch, "The House by the Lake is a history of Germany told in a single house", New Statesman, 10 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Shortlist for the 2015 Costa Novel Award", Costa Book Awards, retrieved 22 November 2016.
  7. ^ a b "The House by the Lake, Thomas Harding", 2016 Book prize long list, Orwell Prize, retrieved 22 November 2016.
  8. ^ Ken Ward Jr., "Supreme Court overturns Jefferson County ruling that narrowed West Virginia’s public records law", blog, Charleston Gazette-Mail, 23 September 2010.
  9. ^ Steve Korris, "Petitions are public records, Justices rule", West Virginia Record, 30 September 2010.
  10. ^ Kyla Asbury, "Summary judgment granted for Shepherdstown Observer publisher in case against Tennant", West Virginia Record, 27 May 2013.
  11. ^ Lawrence Messina, "W.Va. judge voids elections complaint gag law", Real Clear Politics, 20 June 2012.
  12. ^ John Doyle, "Allowing reporters to protect their sources", The Doyle Report, Shepherdstown Chronicle, 30 April 2011.
  13. ^ Kristen Rasmussen, "W.Va. shield bill passed, awaits acting governor's signature", Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 14 March 2011.
  14. ^ Thomas Harding, "Viva camcordistas! Video activism and the protest movement", in George McKay, ed., DiY Culture: Party & Protest in Nineties Britain, London/New York: Verso, 1998, ISBN 9781859848784, pp. 84–99.
  15. ^ Roddy Mansfield, "TV that's right up your street", The Guardian, 24 July 2000.
  16. ^ Amy Mathews Amos, "ACFF Turns 10", Fluent, September–October 2012, pp. 24–25 (digitized at Issuu).
  17. ^ Awards List, West Virginia Association for Justice, 14 March 2012.
  18. ^ "Shortlist for the 2013 Costa Book Award", Costa Book Awards

External links[edit]