Alistair Allan Horne was born in London, England on November 9, 1925. He enlisted in the Royal Air Force, but failed to qualify for pilot training because of poor eyesight. He later joined the Coldstream Guards, attaining the rank of captain. When the war ended, he was transferred to the Intelligence Corps and stationed in Cairo where he monitored Soviet activity in the Balkans. He received a master's degree in English in 1949 from Jesus College, Cambridge. Before becoming an author, he was a foreign correspondent for The Daily Telegraph and a spy for MI6, Britain's foreign intelligence service. His books included The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune, 1870-71; To Lose a Battle: France 1940; Small Earthquake in Chile: A Visit to Allende's South America; The French Army and Politics, 1870-1970; Seven Ages of Paris; The Age of Napoleon; La Belle France: A Short History; and Kissinger: 1973, The Crucial Year. The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916 won the Hawthornden Prize and A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962 won the Wolfson Prize. He wrote several memoirs including A Bundle from Britain and But What Do You Actually Do?: A Literary Vagabondage. He was knighted in 2003. He died on May 25, 2017 at the age of 91.