Press Release: HarperCollins to publish insider account of Zelensky’s war and the Russian invasion of Ukraine

London (15th June 2022) – HarperCollins Publishers has acquired world English rights to WHEN THE WORLD IS WATCHING: Volodymyr Zelensky and the War in Ukraine by Time correspondent Simon Shuster. William Collins Publishing Director Arabella Pike and William Morrow Executive Editor Mauro DiPreta negotiated the deal with Todd Shuster at Aevitas Creative Management. Publication is planned for early 2023.

Acclaimed journalist Simon Shuster has unparalleled access to President Zelensky and his top aides, and WHEN THE WORLD IS WATCHING will be an unmissable account of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, written from inside Zelensky’s presidential compound. Shuster will recreate in astonishing detail how the President has personally responded to emerging crises, facing not only a singular political challenge, but constant threats to his own safety. He will explore the recent history of the Ukraine-Russia war and the biography of Ukraine’s most improbable hero, its comedian-turned-statesman first-term President. As a product of his unique access, Shuster will offer revelations about the backroom planning of Zelensky’s cabinet and the shifting role of governments the world over in the conflict. The book combines intimate, fly-on-the-wall storytelling with the unnerving narrative of how the war is unfolding across Ukraine.    

Said Shuster: ‘It is the privilege of my career to report the story of this war as President Zelensky and his team have experienced it, and I am thrilled to have William Morrow as a partner in bringing this story into the world with the care and urgency that it deserves.’

Added Pike: ‘Ukrainian-born Simon Shuster has known President Zelensky for many years, and when he was still a comic actor. He is writing a book from inside Zelensky’s bunker to portray the story of an unlikely war leader and the pain inflicted on their country Ukraine by Putin’s invasion. He brings a unique perspective to this tragic conflict that will profoundly inform our understanding.’

About the author

Simon Shuster has reported on Russia and Ukraine for over 15 years, most of that time as a staff writer for TIME Magazine. Born in Moscow, he emigrated to the United States as a child, two years before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, he has reported extensively on the war in Ukraine from both sides of the front lines.

He first interviewed and profiled Volodymyr Zelensky during his campaign for the presidency in 2019 and has reported on his career as President ever since. He is based in Brooklyn, New York, but now spends much of his time in Kyiv. 


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