Francis Wheen is an author, journalist and broadcaster. He has written columns for theIndependent, the Independent on Sunday, Esquire, the New Statesman, the Observerand the Guardian, and book reviews for the Times Literary Supplement and Literary Review. He is also the deputy editor of Private Eye. He was named Columnist of the Year at the 1997 What the Papers Say awards. His collected essays, Hoo-Hahs and Passing Frenzies, won the George Orwell Prize for Political Writing in 2003.
A frequent broadcaster, he has for many years been one of the regular panellists of Radio 4’s The News Quiz. His books include Tom Driberg: His Life and Indiscretions,Who Was Dr Charlotte Bach? and Lord Gnome’s Literary Companion. His best-selling biography Karl Marx, (Fourth Estate) which was shortlisted for the BBC FOUR Samuel Johnson Prize in 2000, has been translated into more than 20 languages. His latest book is How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World: A Short History of Modern Delusions.