Baillie Gifford Prize
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The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction (formerly the Samuel Johnson Prize) is an annual British prize for the best non-fiction writing in the English language. It was founded in 1999 following the demise of the NCR Book Award and based on an anonymous donation. With its motto "All the best stories are true", the prize covers current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts. The competition is open to authors of any nationality whose work is published in the UK in English.
The prize was originally named after the English 18th-century author and lexicographer Samuel Johnson. From its inception until 2008 it was named in full the BBC FOUR Samuel Johnson Prize and managed by BBC Four. In 2009 it was renamed as BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction and managed by BBC Two. The new name reflected the BBC's commitment to broadcasting coverage of the Prize on BBC 2, The Culture Show. In 2016 the name was changed once more to the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, after its new primary sponsor, the Edinburgh-based investment management company Baillie Gifford. It continues to be administered by the Board of the not-for-profit company, The Samuel Johnson Prize Limited.
Prior to the 2009 name change, the monetary prize amount was £30,000 for the winner, and each finalist received £2500. After 2009 the monetary prize was £20,000 for the winner, and each finalist received £1000. In February 2012, the steering committee for the prize announced that a new sponsor had been found for the prize, an anonymous philanthropist, and that the prize was to be raised to £25,000. In 2015, funding for the prize was arranged by the Blavatnik Family foundation, while the organisers sought new sponsors from 2016 onwards. In 2016, under new sponsors Baillie Gifford, the prize money was restored to £30,000 for the winner.
The prize is considered to be among the most prestigious non-fiction awards in the UK.
- 1 Winners and shortlists
- 2 See also
- 3 Notes
- 4 External links
Winners and shortlists
- David France, How to Survive a Plague
- Christopher de Bellaigue, The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle Between Faith and Reason
- Kapka Kassabova, Border: A Journey to The Edge of Europe
- Daniel Mendelsohn, An Odyssey: A Father, A Son and An Epic
- Mark O’Connell, To Be A Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death
- Simon Schama, Belonging: the Story of the Jews, 1492-1900
The longlist was announced on 8 September and the shortlist was announced on 6 October. The 2017 judging panel was chaired by chaired by author and Chairman of ITV Sir Peter Bazalgette, together with Anjana Ahuja, science writer; Ian Bostridge, tenor and writer; Professor Sarah Churchwell, academic and writer and Razia Iqbal, journalist and broadcaster.
- Philippe Sands, East West Street
- Svetlana Alexievich, Second-hand Time (translated by Bela Shayevich)
- Margo Jefferson, Negroland: A Memoir
- Hisham Matar, The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land In Between
The longlist was announced on 21 September and the shortlist was announced 17 October. The 2016 judging panel was chaired by former BBC Economics Editor Stephanie Flanders, together with Philip Ball, science writer and author; Jonathan Derbyshire, executive comment editor of the Financial Times; Dr Sophie Ratcliffe, scholar, writer and literary critic and Rohan Silva, co-founder of the social enterprise, Second Home.
- Steve Silberman, Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently
- Jonathan Bate, Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life
- Robert Macfarlane, Landmarks
- Laurence Scott, The Four-Dimensional Human: Ways of Being in the Digital World
- Emma Sky, The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq
- Samanth Subramanian, This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan Civil War
The longlist for the 2015 prize was announced on 22 September and the shortlist was announced 11 October. The 2015 judging panel was chaired by Pulitzer prize-winning historian and journalist Anne Applebaum, together with Editor of Intelligent Life Emma Duncan, Editor of New Scientist Sumit Paul-Choudhury, Director of China Centre at Oxford University Professor Rana Mitter and former Controller of Film and Drama and Head of Film 4 Tessa Ross.
- Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk
- John Campbell, Roy Jenkins; A Biography
- Marion Coutts, The Iceberg: a Memoir
- Greg Grandin, The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World
- Alison Light, Common People: The History of an English Family
- Caroline Moorehead, Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France
The longlist was announced on 1 September 2014. The shortlist was announced on 8 October 2014. The 2014 judging panel was chaired by author and historian Claire Tomalin, accompanied by Alan Johnson MP, Financial Times Books Editor Lorien Kite, philosopher Ray Monk and historian Ruth Scurr.
- Lucy Hughes-Hallett, The Pike (about the Italian poet Gabriele D'Annunzio)
- David Crane, Empires of the Dead: How One Man’s Vision led to the Creation of WWI's World Graves
- William Dalrymple, Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan
- Dave Goulson, A Sting in the Tale
- Charlotte Higgins, Under Another Sky
- Charles Moore, Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography
The longlist, which was announced on 6 September 2013, featured 18 books. The Guardian reported that this year, judges showed a preference for history and biography, at the expense of works in science. On 30 September, judges announced the shortlist. The 2013 judging panel was chaired by the cosmologist and Astronomer Royal, Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, accompanied by classical historian Mary Beard, director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti, historian Peter Hennessy and the writer and critic James McConnachie.
- Wade Davis, Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest
- Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Slum
- Robert Macfarlane, The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot
- Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity
- Paul Preston, The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain
- Sue Prideaux, Strindberg: A Life
- Frank Dikötter, Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958–1962
- Andrew Graham-Dixon, Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane (biography of Caravaggio)
- Maya Jasanoff, Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World
- Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves
- Jonathan Steinberg, Bismarck: A Life (biography of Otto von Bismarck)
- John Stubbs, Reprobates: The Cavaliers of the English Civil War
The shortlist was announced 14 June 2011.
- Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
- Alex Bellos, Alex's Adventures in Numberland: Dispatches from the Wonderful World of Mathematics
- Luke Jennings, Blood Knots: On Fathers, Friendship and Fishing
- Andrew Ross Sorkin, Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves
- Jenny Uglow, A Gambling Man: Charles II and the Restoration
- Richard Wrangham, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human
- Philip Hoare, Leviathan or, The Whale
- Liaquat Ahamed, Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World
- Ben Goldacre, Bad Science
- David Grann, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
- Richard Holmes, The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science
- Manjit Kumar, Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality
The longlist was announced 14 May 2009. The shortlist was announced in late May. The judges announced the winner of the prize at an awards event at King's Place, London on 30 June. The monetary prize for 2009 was £20,000 for the winner, and each finalist receives £1000.
- Kate Summerscale, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or the Murder at Road Hill House
- Tim Butcher, Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart
- Mark Cocker, Crow Country
- Orlando Figes, The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia
- Patrick French, The World Is What It Is: The Authorised Biography of VS Naipaul
- Alex Ross, The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century
- Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone
- Ian Buruma, Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance
- Peter Hennessey, Having it so Good: Britain in the Fifties
- Georgina Howell, Daughter of the Desert: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell (about Gertrude Bell)
- Dominic Streatfeild, Brainwash: The Secret History of Mind Control
- Adrian Tinniswood, The Verneys: A True Story of Love, War, and Madness in Seventeenth-Century England
- James S. Shapiro, 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare
- Alan Bennett, Untold Stories
- Jerry Brotton, The Sale of the Late King's Goods: Charles I and his Art Collection
- Carmen Callil, Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family & Fatherland
- Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945
- Tom Reiss, The Orientalist: In Search of a Man Caught between East and West
- Jonathan Coe, Like A Fiery Elephant: The Story of B. S. Johnson (about B. S. Johnson)
- Alexander Masters, Stuart: A Life Backwards
- Suketu Mehta, Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found
- Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
- Hilary Spurling, Matisse the Master: The Conquest of Colour 1909–1954 (about Henri Matisse)
- Sarah Wise, The Italian Boy: Murder and Grave-Robbery in 1830s London
- Anna Funder, Stasiland – True Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall
- Anne Applebaum, Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps
- Jonathan Bate, John Clare: A Biography (about John Clare)
- Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything
- Aidan Hartley, The Zanzibar Chest: A Memoir of Love and War
- Tom Holland, Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic
- T. J. Binyon, Pushkin: A Biography (about Alexander Pushkin)
- Orlando Figes, Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia
- Aminatta Forna, The Devil that Danced on the Water: A Daughter's Memoir of her Father, her Family, her Country and a Continent
- Olivia Judson, Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex
- Claire Tomalin, Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self (about Samuel Pepys)
- Edgar Vincent, Nelson: Love and Fame (about Lord Nelson)
- Margaret MacMillan, Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War
- Eamon Duffy, The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village
- William Fiennes, The Snow Geese
- Richard Hamblyn, The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies
- Roy Jenkins, Churchill: a Biography (about Winston Churchill)
- Brendan Simms, Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia
- Michael Burleigh, The Third Reich: A New History
- Richard Fortey, Trilobite!: Eyewitness to Evolution
- Catherine Merridale, Night of Stone: Death and Memory in Russia
- Graham Robb, Rimbaud (about Arthur Rimbaud)
- Simon Sebag Montefiore, Prince of Princes: The Life of Potemkin (about Grigory Potemkin)
- Robert Skidelsky, John Maynard Keynes: Fighting for Britain, 1937–1946 (about John Maynard Keynes)
- David Cairns, Berlioz: Volume 2 (about Hector Berlioz)
- Tony Hawks, Playing the Moldovans at Tennis
- Brenda Maddox, Yeats's Ghosts: The Secret Life of W.B. Yeats (about W. B. Yeats)
- Matt Ridley, Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters
- William Shawcross, Deliver us from Evil: Warlords, Peacekeepers and a World of Endless Conflict
- Francis Wheen, Karl Marx (about Karl Marx)
- Antony Beevor, Stalingrad
- Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1889–1936: Hubris (about Adolf Hitler)
- Ann Wroe, Pilate: The Biography of an Invented Man (about Pontius Pilate)
- John Diamond, C: Because Cowards Get Cancer Too
- Richard Holmes, Coleridge: Darker Reflections (about Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
- David Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations
- English literature
- British literature
- List of years in literature
- List of prizes
- Prizes named after people
- "About the prize". Samuel Johnson Prize. Archived from the original on July 4, 2008.
The UK's most Prestigious non-fiction award
- "The 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction". Samuel Johnson Prize. 17 April 2009. Archived from the original on April 1, 2010.
- Douglas, James (23 May 2016). "Samuel Johnson Prize sets sights globally under new sponsorship deal". The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- "The Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction announces a new sponsor". Samuel Johnson Prize. 17 February 2012. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012.
- "Samuel Johnson seeks a new sponsor". London Evening Standard. 27 May 2015.
- "Science dominates Samuel Johnson prize longlist", The Guardian, 14 May 2009. "..the UK's most prestigious non-fiction award.."
- "The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction | The most prestigious non-fiction prize in the UK". thebailliegiffordprize.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- "The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction | The most prestigious non-fiction prize in the UK". thebailliegiffordprize.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- Alison Flood. "Philippe Sands wins the 2016 Baillie Gifford prize for nonfiction". The Guardian. 15 November 2016.
- The Guardian (20 September 2016). "Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich heads longlist for UK's top nonfiction award". Alison Flood. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- "'Gripping' autism book wins Samuel Johnson prize". BBC News Online. 2 November 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
- "Contentious Ted Hughes book makes Samuel Johnson Prize longlist". BBC News Online. 22 September 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
- "The 2015 Shortlist". The Samuel Johnson Prize. 11 October 2015. Archived from the original on February 14, 2016.
- Clark, Nick. "Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction: Helen Macdonald wins with 'H is for Hawk'". The Independent. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- Alison Flood (1 September 2014). "Samuel Johnson prize 2014 longlist spotlights memoirs". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- Alison Flood (8 October 2014). "Samuel Johnson prize 2014 shortlist: two memoirs are among the 'uplifting' and 'compelling' finalists". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- Mark Brown (4 November 2013). "Biography of Italian fascist wins Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
- Liz Bury (6 September 2013). "Samuel Johnson prize longlist: history comes first as judges take the long view". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
- Charlotte Higgins (30 September 2013). "Samuel Johnson prize 2013 shortlist – in pictures". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
- "Rees to chair Samuel Johnson". 23 April 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
- Alison Flood (12 November 2012). "Into the Silence author Wade Davis wins Samuel Johnson award". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
- Alison Flood (17 September 2012). "Rushdie memoir heads Samuel Johnson prize longlist". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- Alison Flood (5 October 2012). "Six books to 'change our view of the world' on shortlist for non-fiction prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- Flood, Alison (6 July 2011). "Samuel Johnson prize won by 'hugely important' study of Mao". The Guardian.
- "2011 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize For Non-fiction Shortlist announced". Samuel Johnson Prize. 14 June 2011. Archived from the original on June 28, 2012.
- "BBC Samuel Johnson Longlist Announced". Samuel Johnson Prize. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012.
- "From Angling to Angles, BBC Samuel Johnson Shortlist Defies Simplistic Categorisation". Samuel Johnson Prize. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012.
- "2009 Longlist. BBC Samuel Johnson longlist announced". Samuel Johnson Prize. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012.