Monday, December 06, 2021

Best histories of 2021 from various sources UPDATED

There's an list of impressive looking books in Smithsonian History's tally of the best American and world histories published in 2021.

And from Britain's History Today, another 2021 best-of list, this one assembled by asking a lot of historians about their personal choices for the year. No overlap with the Smithsonians. (I'd say consensus on "best history" is rare most years.)

Last week in Montreal, the Cundill History Prize, for the best recent history book in English, was awarded to Marjoleine Kars for Blood on the River: The Untold Story of the Berbice Slave Revolt. The Cundill short list and finalists are available here. I'm reviewing the final three for the Literary Review of Canada soon.

This blog should put its mind to the best Canadian histories of the year. Nominations gratefully received! Canada's History, online and in the mag, offers an extensive book and gift buyers' guide to things Canadiana. A subscription always makes a good gift.

Update, December 9:  A short smart Best Of list from Paul Lay, the very well informed editor of Britain's History Today magazine, has been published at the Five Books website. Finally, a hint of overlap in nominations: Lay includes Marie Favereau's The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World, a finalist for the Cundill Prize. 

Five Books has a second Best History list: the shortlist of the Wolfson Prize for the best histories published in Britain for general readers  It includes Brit/Canadian Rebecca Clifford's: Survivors: Children's Lives after the Holocaust, the other title among the Cundill finalists. The Wolfson winner was Black Spartacus, a biography of Toussaint Louverture by Sudhir Hazareesingh.

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