Stephen Budiansky is the author of seventeen books about military history, intelligence and espionage, science, the natural world, and other subjects. His most recent books are Code Warriors: NSA’s Codebreakers and the Secret Intelligence War Against the Soviet Union; and Mad Music: Charles Ives, the Nostalgic Rebel.

His writing has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times magazine and op-ed pages, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, The Economist, and many other publications.

Stephen Budiansky grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts, and graduated from Lexington High School. He received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Yale University in 1978 and a master of science degree in applied mathematics from Harvard the following year. From 1979 to 1982 he was a magazine editor and radio producer at the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C.; from 1982 to 1985 he was Washington correspondent and then Washington editor of the scientific journal Nature. In 1985–86 he was a Congressional Fellow at the U.S. Congress’s Office of Technology Assessment, where he co-authored a study of advanced conventional weapons technology. In 1986 he joined the staff of U.S. News & World Report where he worked for the next twelve years in a variety of writing and editing positions, including national security correspondent, foreign editor, and deputy editor.

He is a member of the editorial board of Cryptologia, the scholarly journal of cryptology and intelligence history, and is on the American Heritage Dictionary’s Usage Panel.

In 2011, Budiansky was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship as a writer of general non-fiction to complete his biography of the quirky and brilliant American composer Charles Ives.

He lives on a small farm in Loudoun County, Virginia.

Earlier Books

Mad Music: Charles Ives, the Nostalgic Rebel (2014). University Press of New England/ForeEdge.

  1. Blackett’s War: The Men Who Defeated the Nazi U-boats and Brought Science to the Art of Warfare (2013). Knopf.

  2. Perilous Fight: America's Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas, 1812–1815 (2011). Knopf.

  3. Murder, By the Book (2008). Black Sheep Press.

The Bloody Shirt: Terror After the Civil War (2007). Viking.

Her Majesty's Spymaster: Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Walsingham, and the Birth of Modern Espionage (2005). Viking.

Air Power: The Men, Machines, and Ideas That Revolutionized War, from Kitty Hawk to Iraq (2004). Viking.

The Character of Cats (2002). Viking.

The Truth About Dogs (2000). Viking.

The World According to Horses: How They Run, See, and Think (2000). Henry Holt.

Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II (2000). Free Press.

If A Lion Could Talk: Animal Intelligence and the Evolution of Consciousness (1998). Free Press.

The Nature of Horses (1997). Free Press.

Nature's Keepers (1995). Free Press.

The Covenant of the Wild (1992). Yale University Press (reprint, 1999).


about Stephen Budiansky