Macintyre signs with Viking for SAS history

Macintyre signs with Viking for SAS history

Penguin's Viking imprint has signed Ben Macintyre to write the first ever authorised history of the SAS regiment.

Macintyre's books Agent Zig-Zag, Operation Mincemeat, Double Cross, and most recently A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal, are published by Bloomsbury.

The author will write the SAS history for publication in autumn 2016, to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the founding of the elite military team.

The project has been confirmed after three years of discussions between Penguin and the SAS Regimental Association, which will offer "unprecedented" access to its archives. The deal was agreed between Venetia Butterfield and Joel Rickett at Viking, Ed Victor representing Macintyre, and Martin Morgan of Extraordinary Editions representing the SAS Regimental Association.

Viking has also signed Macintyre for a second book.

He said: "I am thrilled by the prospect of writing the first complete and authorised wartime history of the SAS, a story of unparalleled courage, ingenuity and adventure.  The SAS archives contain a treasure-trove of unpublished primary material, of the sort that would make any writer salivate."

Butterfield said: "“The first authorised history of the SAS will be a major global publishing event. We are thrilled to welcome Ben Macintyre to Viking: we have long been huge admirers of his and the combination of Ben’s brilliant narrative style and the riches of the SAS archive is a match made in heaven."

The SAS began in 1941, when Scots Guard Lieutenant David Stirling had the idea of using small teams of parachute-trained soldier to operate behind enemy lines.