Books

Books about slavery, Indigenous history among 10 titles nominated for $100K Cundill History Prize

The annual award recognizes the year's best work of historical nonfiction. It is administered by McGill University.
Books about slavery, Indigenous history, the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Aztecs are among the 10 titles that have been shortlisted for the 2020 Cundill History Prize. (Submitted by the Cundill History Prize)

Books about slavery, Indigenous history, the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Aztecs are among the 10 titles that have been shortlisted for the 2020 Cundill History Prize.

The $75,000 U.S. ($99,818 Cdn) award is administered by McGill University. It is awarded to the year's best work of historical nonfiction.

The complete shortlist is:

  • Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation by Roderick Beaton
  • Tacky's Revolt: the Story of an Atlantic Slave War by Vincent Brown
  • The Anarchy: the Relentless Rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple
  • India in the Persianate Age: 1000-1765 by Richard M. Eaton
  • Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Rivalry that Unravelled the Middle East by Kim Ghattas
  • Black Radical: the Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter by Kerri K. Greenidge
  • The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: a History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017 by Rashid Khalidi
  • Providence Lost: the Rise and Fall of Cromwell's Protectorate by Paul Lay
  • Unworthy Republic: the Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory by Claudio Saunt
  • Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs by Camilla Townsend

"Each book shows just how alive and vibrant and flourishing first-class scholarship and nonfiction writing are in the world today: for all the frustrations and disappointments we have in the world, history is alive and well. It's important that good ground-breaking new history writing explains what is important and why it matters. And each of the 10 books we have chosen for this shortlist does that — in many different ways," jury chair, British historian Peter Frankopan, said in a statement.

The jury is comprised of Frankopan, American journalist and 2012 Cundill Prize winner Anne Applebaum, Canadian journalist Lyse Doucet, American history professor Eliga Gould and British Sri Lankan historian Sujit Sivasundaram.

Doucet is BBC's chief international correspondent and senior presenter. She played a key role in the channel's coverage of the Arab Spring.

The three finalists will be announced on Oct. 20. The winner will be announced in late November.

The two runners up will each receive $10,000.

Last year's winner was Julia Lovell for Maoism: A Global History.

Previous winners also include Maya Jasanoff, Daniel Beer and Susan Pedersen.

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