Victor Sebestyen was born in Budapest. He was a child when his family left Hungary as refugees. As a journalist, he has worked for numerous British newspapers, including The London Evening Standard, The Times and The Daily Mail. He has contributed to many American publications, including The New York Times. He reported widely from Eastern Europe when Communism collapsed and the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. He covered the wars in former Yugoslavia and the breakup of the Soviet Union. At The London Evening Standard he was foreign editor, media editor and chief leader writer. He was an associate editor at Newsweek.
Victor's first book, Twelve Days (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2006, Pantheon 2006), was an acclaimed history of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. It was translated into 12 languages. His second, Revolution 1989 (W&N 2009, Pantheon 2009) was a highly praised account of the fall of the Soviet empire. In 2017 he published Lenin the Dictator, a full-scale biography of the founder of the first Communist state, which was shortlisted for the Longford Prize in the UK, the Plutarch Award and the PEN Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for biography in the US.
He has been a speaker at universities, literary festivals and conferences throughout Europe and the United States. He sat on The Advisory Council of The UK based in Wilton Park, the think tank and discussion forum for international affairs.
Victor has just published Budapest - Between East and West, a city ‘biography’ of the Hungarian capital.