Charles Neal Ascherson was born in Edinburgh in 1932 and educated at Eton College and King"s College, Cambridge, where he studied history. He has spent most of his life as a foreign correspondent for British newspapers. Ascherson is an expert on Central and Eastern Europe, where he stayed during the latter part of the Cold War and the following decades, specializing in Polish affairs and also covering developments in the other countries of the region. He has written two books on Poland: "The Polish August" (1981) and "Struggles for Poland" (1987). His most recent books are "Black Sea" (1995; revised 2007) and "Stone of Voices: The Search for Scotland" (2004). Ascherson lives in London.