A book by a Toronto doctor who worked in a Sudanese border town and a Vancouver journalist who toured the countries considered most dangerous for media workers have been nominated for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.

Five finalists for the $25,000 prize, for a non-fiction book that enhances understanding of a political subject of interest to Canadian readers, were announced on Monday.

Among the finalists were biographies of former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau and former Parti Québécois leader René Lévesque. Both also are nominated for the Charles Taylor Prize for non-fiction, to be awarded Feb. 8.

The full list:

  • John English of Kitchener, Ont., for Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 1968-2000.
  • Terry Gould of Vancouver for Murder Without Borders: Dying For the Story in the World's Most Dangerous Places.
  • Rudyard Griffiths of Toronto for Who We Are: A Citizen's Manifesto.
  • James Maskalyk of Toronto for Six Months in Sudan: A Young Doctor in a War-Torn Village.
  • Daniel Poliquin of Montreal for René Lévesque.

Gould spent five years investigating the deaths of seven individual journalists in Iraq, the Philippines, Russia, Colombia and Bangladesh, countries that are among the most dangerous for media workers.

Griffiths, a co-founder of the Dominion Institute and the Grano Speakers Series, makes a passionate defence of Canadian values and identity in Who We Are.

Maskalyk uses excerpts from a blog he created while on the ground for Médicines sans frontières in Sudan to tell of experiences ranging from containing a measles epidemic to handling the effects of war.

Cohen was an outspoken MP from Windsor, Ont., who died in 1998. The prize will be awarded at the sold-out Politics and the Pen Gala on March 10 in Ottawa