About Hurst Publishers

Hurst is an independently owned and run non-fiction publisher, based in London but publishing globally.

Hurst marked its 50th anniversary in 2019, which gave us a chance to celebrate our strengths as an independent publisher offering a fresh look at pressing issues and important history. We enjoyed reflecting on the recognition often given to our list, in both prize shortlistings and winnings and reliably great media coverage, disproportionate to the size of the press. We publish approximately 90 new books per year, building on our core lists in African Studies, Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies, South Asian Studies, History, War & Conflict, and International Relations. Our bestsellers include Lost Islamic History, The Northumbrians, Inglorious Empire, The Accidental Guerrilla, The Road to Somewhere, Stealing from the Saracens, African Europeans, and Across an Angry Sea.

Among our celebrated authors are Africanists Olivette Otele, Gérard Prunier, Stephen Ellis and Susan Williams; renowned thinkers on South Asia Shashi Tharoor, Alpa Shah, Christophe Jaffrelot and Faisal Devji; historians Michael Burleigh,Peter Kornicki, and Priya Atwal; strategists and security experts David Kilcullen, Sir David Omand, William J. Burns, and Nigel Inkster; economist Vicky Pryce; journalists David Goodhart, Jess Hill, Hsiao-Hung Pai, Jasper Becker, Sarah Jaffe, and Stephen Vines; political scientists Bruno Maçães and Brian Klaas; and experts on Islam and the Muslim world Madawi Al-Rasheed, Ziauddin Sardar, Kristian Coates-Ulrichsen Adriane M. Tabatabai, and Jean-Pierre Filiu.

Our scholarly books are subject to rigorous anonymous peer review procedures, in part thanks to a unique and thriving co-publishing agreement with Oxford University Press, New York. Our titles are published or distributed by OUP in the Americas, and those that are approved by the editorial board wear the OUP livery there. 

Christopher Hurst founded C. Hurst & Co. (Publishers) Ltd. in 1969, his primary aim being to publish scrupulously edited and produced books on subjects close to his heart rather than to build a commercial empire. Christopher’s interests were eclectic, and they featured in his list from the outset, ranging from African Studies, the plight of dissidents in the Cold War, the history of Scandinavia, the Muslim periphery, the Far North and anthropology. To learn more about his contributions to scholarship and publishing, you can read obituaries here: Guardian and on Open Democracy.

At Hurst we cherish the memory of Christopher’s independence of spirit and refusal to follow the corporate path. To that end, we like to publish books that surprise as well as inform our readers, while assuring them that they meet the highest standards of literary excellence. Though our reputation has only grown in recent years, we still value working closely across departments and with our authors — we’re an intimate, dynamic team, deeply committed to publishing books that will add meaningfully to conversations, or start new ones.  

‘The world we thought we knew has been turned upside down, and no publishing list today answers our perplexity, or relieves our anxiety, as effectively as Hurst’s. Its commitment to original, provocative and rigorous thinking marks it out clearly in a field dominated by the safely formulaic.’

Pankaj Mishra

‘At a time of rapid and dislocating change, no range of books casts a more valuable light onto the convulsions of the present than those published by Hurst.’

Tom Holland

Our staff

Michael Dwyer
Publisher and Managing Director 

Michael joined Hurst in 1985 after studying African and Asian history at SOAS, followed by a stint at Heffers booksellers in Cambridge.  He acquires and commissions books in all areas, especially history, politics and security and still has, he hopes, an entirely open mind about what makes a manuscript or proposal right for Hurst.  Away from his laptop he enjoys gardening, eating biryani, reading books about wine and aimless long drives, ideally in Northumberland, Scotland or Ireland.  

Kathleen May
Associate Publisher and Director of Sales & Marketing

Kathleen has spent her entire professional life in the world of independent publishing. With nearly 30 years experience on both sides of the Atlantic, she has worked in every area of the business, including commissioning, design, rights, proofreading, and turning unsold stock into book safes. She has a Master’s in History from NYU, a Bachelor’s in History and English from Duke University, and studied abroad at University College London. When not catching up on global affairs at Hurst, she enjoys tucking into novels from any time period or reading aloud from the treasure trove that is children’s literature to her four kids.  

Daisy Leitch 
Production Director 

Daisy joined Hurst in 2009 after working variously on the editorial side of medical publishing, a couple of years on the two-person team putting together the very glossy Foxtons magazine, and several years with Philip’s overseeing street atlases, road atlases and latterly the Astronomy list, with a few books on natural history thrown in. Her role at Hurst has evolved but is essentially that of shepherd, watching over titles once typeset and managing them through the production schedule, liaising with authors, designers and printers along the way. When not immersed in troublesome pdfs she can be found hitting a large drum with the Brighton-based samba-reggae band Barulho.

Emily Cary-Elwes
Head of Publicity

Emily has spent her whole working life publicising books. Having graduated in English and Classics at Nottingham in 2003, Emily has worked at various publishers including Random House, Octopus, Carlton Books, and most recently the independent publisher W.W. Norton Ltd. where she was Head of Publicity; her role also entailed regular trips to the US office to feedback to the key figures there. Emily has publicised a wide range of books covering a variety of genres across Adult Non-Fiction, Fiction and Children’s books. When not working Emily spends a lot of time entertaining her 6-year-old and 3-year-old; including running a Kids Bookstagram account where they post about their daily reads. When she gets time to herself, she likes to go to see live music, visit exhibitions and of course do a lot of reading.

Lara Weisweiller-Wu
Senior Editor 

Lara joined Hurst in 2015 under the Creative Access scheme, following a stint of freelance work for Oxford University Press. Overseeing the editorial process at Hurst and working closely with her own authors, she also likes to acquire fresh and diverse voices in politics, history, social reportage and memoir that can start new conversations, or make us rethink old ones. Lara’s academic background is in the history of Africa, India and the Middle East, and in French language, literature and history. Among colleagues she is known for her brutal slashing of word counts, voracious reading of speculative fiction, obsessive involvement with SHE Choir London, and great enthusiasm for office snacks.

Rubi Kumari
Sales & Marketing Executive

Rubi joined Hurst in February 2020 after gaining experience at publishers such as Icon Books and Penguin Random House. She previously graduated from University College London with a BA in History. As Sales & Marketing Executive, she works alongside the Director of Sales & Marketing to promote both frontlist and backlist titles across various platforms, manage bibliographic data and website sales. She is an animal enthusiast and avid globetrotter. 

Alice Clarke
Editorial Assistant 

Alice joined Hurst in 2020, under the strange circumstances of a global pandemic. Assisting across the editorial team with proofreading, preparing catalogues and working with authors, she gets stuck in at every stage of the publication process. Before starting at Hurst, Alice worked for several years in the charity sector and in a research and consultancy role, after completing a Bachelor’s degree in Language and Culture, with an emphasis on French and Middle Eastern history, politics and philosophy. When not wading through manuscripts, Alice can often be found walking in the countryside (preferably accompanied by a dog or two), reading in a quiet café, or at her local climbing wall. 

Raminta Uselytė
Publicity Assistant

Originally from Lithuania, Raminta moved to the UK in 2011 to study English and Comparative Literature in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Before coming to Hurst, she interned at a few indie presses and worked in Marketing and Publicity at a publisher of illustrated non-fiction. She loves to read across all genres and different cultures, but is especially drawn to books that combine history, travelogue and investigative reporting.

Mei Jayne Yew
Editorial Assistant 

Mei Jayne joined Hurst in 2021 after studying French and Spanish at King’s College London. Throughout her degree, including a year living in Canada and Mexico, she enjoyed modules in history, politics, culture and linguistics, which piqued her interest in global affairs. Mei Jayne indulges in reading compelling and moving narratives across all genres. In her spare time, she can be found practicing yoga, seeing her favourite artists in concert, or trying to find the best Malaysian food in London.

Farhaana Arefin 
Consulting Editor 

Farhaana joined Hurst in 2016, putting her perfectionism to use in (over)zealous proofreads. With a background studying French and Arabic, she likes to read widely and from non-Western perspectives. She acquires from writers with insight, empathy and important stories to tell, and is particularly interested in memoir and reportage that draw together politics and history with real human experiences. She is an avid collector of zines.

Alison Alexanian
Publicity Consultant

Alison Alexanian joined Hurst in 2015 heading publicity for the press. Prior to that, she ran publicity campaigns at Penguin and Pluto Press. Alison worked as an assistant editor at Columbia University Press in New York, and studied philosophy at the University of Toronto before moving to the UK.


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