HESH KESTIN

Hesh Kestin was for two decades a foreign correspondent, reporting from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa on war, international security, terrorism, arms dealing, espionage, and often equally shadowy global business. 

 

Formerly the London-based European correspondent for Forbes, he is a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces. As a citizen of both the US and Israel, for eighteen years it was common for Kestin to come home to his family from active duty in the IDF, then change into civilian clothes to return to the same battlefields as a correspondent.  “You never stop being afraid,” he says today. “But having grown up in a Brooklyn neighborhood where every day was a war, I had a unique advantage: I was used to it.”

 

After hanging up his trenchcoat, Kestin published three works of fiction before perpetrating THE SIEGE OF TEL AVIV.  They are: BASED ON A TRUE STORY, a collection of three novellas set in Kenya, Polynesia and Hollywood on the eve of World War II; THE IRON WILL OF SHOESHINE CATS, a novel of the sixties underworld in New York; and THE LIE, a serious novel disguised as a thriller, set in present-day Israel, which deals with the emotional costs of never-ending war.  

 

The father of five, Kestin lives close to New York City in a very quiet village where, he reports, gunfire is blessedly rare.

Posted March 13, 2014 | LISA PEET

Thus it’s tempting, but not entirely correct, to ascribe Hesh Kestin’s literary sensibilities to habits he picked up during his 20 years as a correspondent for Newsday, The International Herald Tribune, and Forbes. In fact, even as a youngster he was the kind of kid who paid close attention: to his neighborhood dynamics, people on the street, the books he read. It no doubt behooved a boy growing up across the street from the headquarters of Murder, Inc. — the Brooklyn Mafia’s Jewish enforcement arm — to keep his eyes open.

Posted May 15, 2014 | HESH KESTIN

WHEN I WAS the senior European correspondent for Forbes magazine, I traveled a good deal, often to Africa and the Middle East—dismally exciting places where a journalist's life was worth little more than what it had cost New Scotland Yard to print my press card. The black-and-white photo on it showed a young man of addled cockiness; only shades and a dangling cigarette were missing. I was young, stupid and intent on making my reputation, mostly in bad neighborhoods.