ADDRESSES: Office—Glasgow Evening Times, 200 Renfield Rd., Glasgow G2 3QB, Scotland.
CAREER: Journalist. Writer for Glasgow Evening Times, Glasgow, Scotland.
The Biography of George Clooney, Boxtree (London, England), 1997.
The Lisbon Lions: Celtic, Virgin (London, England), 1997.
The Glory Glory Bhoys, The Celebration of Celtic's Triumphant 1997–98 Season, Mainstream (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1998.
Robin Williams, Thunder's Mouth Press (New York, NY), 1998.
Dynamo: Defending the Honour of Kiev, Fourth Estate (London, England), 2001, published as Dynamo: Triumph and Tragedy in Nazi-Occupied Kiev, Lyons Press (Guilford, CT), 2002.
The Hunting of Man: A History of the Sniper, Fourth Estate (London, England), 2004, published as Through the Crosshairs: A History of Snipers, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Andy Dougan has written books about sports, film directors and actors, as well as a history of snipers. In The Actors' Director: Richard Attenborough behind the Camera, Dougan incorporates interviews with Attenborough's colleagues and other actors to provide a biography of the director and discuss his films. "Brief insights are offered, simple and significant stories are told, and individual impressions are revealed," wrote Janet St. John in Booklist. In Robin Williams, Dougan profiles the comedian and actor, from his time as an overweight child who was bullied through Williams's rise to fame on the television show Mork and Mindy and his subsequent success in movies. Rosellen Brewer, writing in Library Journal, called the biography "a straightforward account that reveals new facts about a very private celebrity."
Dougan turns his eye toward an historic wartime football, or soccer, game in Dynamo: Defending the Honour of Kiev, published in the United States as Dynamo: Triumph and Tragedy in Nazi-Occupied Kiev. This true story, as told by Dougan, takes place between 1941 and 1943 in Kiev, Ukraine, which was occupied by the German army during World War II. The author focuses on a group of former star soccer players who headed toward a fateful match on August 9, 1942. The Kiev players, called the Startteam, were on the losing side of the war at the time. As a result they were in terrible physical condition—hungry and exhausted. Their opponents were the Flakelf, a team of soldiers from the German air force, the Luftwaffe, who had been handpicked to make sure the Germans won the game. Further stacking the odds against the Ukrainian players was the fact that an SS officer, a member of an elite group within the German military, was the game's referee. He went into the locker room prior to the match and told the Startteam that they must not win as they had done in two previous matches against the Germans. Dougan recounts the buildup to the match and the terrible aftermath when the Ukrainian players put honor before all.
Writing a review of Dynamo in the Spectator, Raymond Asquith noted that the book should be "read … for the central drama played by ordinary, decent people in extraordinary and evil circumstances." Henry Sheen noted in the New Statesman that the author "has … managed to find a story that has an inevitable capacity to move and disturb." Booklist contributor David Pitt called Dynamo "a fascinating, exciting, and, ultimately, deeply unsettling book." Writing in Military Review, Michael A. Boden commented: "Dougan recognizes the limits of oral histories and the inconsis-tencies that pepper the story, and he does not jump to conclusions or connections that are not present. What emerges is a well-told story about a group of men in a difficult situation."
Dougan explores the role of the sniper in twentieth-century wars in his book The Hunting of Man: A History of the Sniper, which was published in the United States as Through the Crosshairs: A History of Snip-ers. The author profiles modern military sharpshooters and looks back at past snipers, revealing that American General George Washington was almost the successful target of a British army sniper named Patrick Ferguson. Dougan also explores several assassins and their crimes. In addition, he provides a history of weapons dating back to the bow and arrow and discusses their tactical use. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the book a "breezy account of snipers and sniping."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 1995, Janet St. John, review of The Actors' Director: Richard Attenborough behind the Camera, p. 1465; September 15, 2002, review of Dynamo: Triumph and Tragedy in Nazi-Occupied Kiev, p. 197.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2005, review of Through the Crosshairs: A History of Snipers, p. 396.
Library Journal, December, 1998, Rosellen Brewer, review of Robin Williams, p. 108.
Military Review, July-August, 2004, Michael A. Boden, review of Dynamo, p. 97.
New Statesman, April 16, 2001, Henry Sheen, review of Dynamo, p. 57.
Publishers Weekly, April 4, 2005, review of Through the Crosshairs, p. 50.
Spectator, March 24, 2001, Raymond Asquith, review of Dynamo, p. 45.