Monday, October 06, 2014

Prize watch: Cundill prize nominees 2014

The Cundill Prize in History, at $75,000 said to be the richest prize for historical writing and issued annually "to an individual who has published a book determined to have had a profound literary, social and academic impact in the area of history," has announced its 2014 preliminary list.

           Gary Bass – The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide (Knopf)  
        David Brion Davis – The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation (Knopf)
           Andrew O’Shaughnessy – The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire (Yale University Press)
  Richard Overy – The Bombing War: Europe 1939-45 (Allen Lane)
  David Van Reybrouck – Congo: The Epic History of a People (Fourth Estate)
  Geoffrey Wawro – A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire (Basic Books)

Once more, a mix of scholarly and trade imprints, authors, and audiences, it seems, with the jury composition (one two historical scholars, one a previous winner, among five jurors) maybe suggesting a little more tilt to the trade side than in the Cundill's early years. The jury 2 for 5 women; the nominees 0 for 6. Still, there are a lot of impressive historical works on the market these days.

This preliminary list will be reduced to 3 finalists, with a winner on November 20.  The prize is administered by McGill University and the announcement will be in Toronto this year.
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