about

    Photo of author, David James SmithDavid James Smith is the author of five acclaimed non-fiction books and is an award-wining journalist for The Sunday Times Magazine of London. His first book, THE SLEEP OF REASON – THE JAMES BULGER CASE is in a new edition from Faber (2017) and remains the definitive account of the 1993 murder of a child by two ten year old boys.

    David has a close interest in criminal justice and served five years (2013-2018) as a Commissioner at The Criminal Cases Review Commission, appointed by HM The Queen to oversee investigations into miscarriages of justice. He was a local newspaper reporter and wrote for the monthly magazine Esquire before joining The Sunday Times Magazine, for whom he travelled around the world writing cover stories, investigative articles, reportage and profiles. It was an article for the Magazine that led to his second book, ALL ABOUT JILL: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF JILL DANDO, which was published by Little Brown in 2002. Barry George was convicted and later acquitted of the infamous 1999 shooting of the television presenter on the doorstep of her London home.

    SUPPER WITH THE CRIPPENS, about the notorious Edwardian crime was published by Orion in 2005 and is currently in development as a drama series for television. ONE MORNING IN SARAJEVO made a gripping non-fiction thriller out of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in June, 1914: it was published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson in 2008. YOUNG MANDELA is the story of the early life of the iconic South African activist and leader who died in 2013. The biography was published in 2010 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in the UK and Little Brown in the US. David’s research involved interviews with most of Mandela’s close family and comrades, including Winnie Madikezela-Mandela, and culminated in a meeting with Nelson Mandela himself.

    NEWS AND EVENTS

    Latest News

    • The Sleep Of Reason – The James Bulger Case by David James Smith:
      Faber Finds edition with new preface, available September 15th, 2011.

    • Young Mandela the movie – in development.

      From The Guardian
      Read the article

      In the Diary column of The Independent, April 13th, 2011

      More on my previously unsubstantiated claim that the writer-director Peter Kosminsky, creator of The Promise, is working on a drama about Nelson Mandela. I’ve now learnt that the project is a feature film, in development with Film 4, about the young Mandela. Kosminsky is currently at work on the script and, given the complaints about the anti-Jewish bias of The Promise, it is unlikely to be a standard bland portrait of the former South African president.

    Latest Review

      New York Times – J. M. Ledgard
    • Nelson Mandela was circumcised as a 16-year-old boy alongside a flowing river in the Eastern Cape. The ceremony was similar to those of other Bantu peoples. An elder moved through the line making ring-like cuts, and foreskins fell away. The boys could not so much as blink; it was a rite of passage that took you beyond pain. read full review

    See David James Smith…

    Jon Venables: What Went Wrong
    BBC 1, 10.35
    Thursday, April 21st, 2011