Open to authors of all non-fiction books in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts, it is considered the UK’s premier prize for non-fiction, worth £20,000. The winner will be announced on 4th November.
The shortlist is:
Volume one of Charles Moore’s authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher Not for Turning
Dave Goulson’s bumblebee studyA Sting in the Tale – rated 5 star by a customer
Charlotte Higgins’s book about Roman Britain, Under Another Sky.
Empires of the Dead by David Crane about Fabian Ware and the building of the First World War cemeteries;
The Pike by Lucy Hughes-Hallett about the poet and Fascist Gabriele D’Annunzio.
William Dalrymple’s book about the first British invasion of Afghanistan, Return of the King also rated 5 star by a customer
BBC2’s “Culture Show” will broadcast pieces about the six shortlisted titles at 10p.m. on 30th October, and BBC Radio 4’s “World at One” will broadcast a series of interviews with the shortlisted authors in the lead-up to the winner announcement.
Sir Martin Rees , chair of the judges, said each of the six shortlisted titles had “enlighten and entertained” them. “The authors have conveyed specialised (and in some cases unfamiliar) subjects in a refreshing and readable way, revealing new perspectives,” he said. “These finely written, highly accessible and stimulating books all deserve a wide readership.”
Last year the prize was won by 5 star rated Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and The Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis .
This year’s longlist