Archives: Legacy book prize entriesTTTT

These are the book prize entries

The Case of Stephen Lawrence

Eighteen-year-old Stephen Lawrence, the son of Jamaican immigrants, was murdered on the night of 22 April 1993 whilst standing at a bus-stop, by a gang of white youths. Cathcart wrote a long piece about the murder and all its ramifications for Granta magazine (59), and this is the basis for his book: an account of the crime, the investigation and the criminal culture of South-East London that gave rise to the murderers.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century in His Life

As D. M. Thomas states in his masterly biography of the Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn, ‘He helped to bring down the greatest tyranny the world has seen, besides educating the West as to its full horror. No other writer in our century has had such an influence on our history.’

The author of The First Circle, Cancer Ward and The Gulag Archipelago can truly be said to have altered Russia and thus the pattern of our times. This is as much a disturbing, haunting history of the twentieth century as it is a biography of a great novelist. Given the extraordinary language of Thomas and his novelistic gifts which he uses to render his story, this work will come to be regarded as one of the great biographies of recent decades. Particularly impressive is the vast cooperation of Solzhenitsyn’s first wife, Natalya, who has provided an astonishing portrait of her ex-husband’s life in Russia before his departure in 1974 from the then Soviet Union. The photographs used for the book come from her own collection as well.

Jennie Lee: A Life

This is the compelling biography of Jennie Lee (1904-1988), the beautiful and passionate daughter of a Scottish miner who rose to become a pioneering woman MP. Regarded as one of the finest political biographies of recent years, this book studies a remarkable woman whose stormy political career culminated in her becoming the first Minister for the Arts, and details the moving and intimate story of her marriage to Aneurin Bevan.

Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa

Growing up in Rhodesia in the 1960s, Peter Godwin inhabited a magical and frightening world of leopard-hunting, lepers, witch doctors, snakes and forest fires. As an adolescent, a conscript caught in the middle of a vicioud civil war, and then as an adult who returned to Zimbabwe as a journalist to cover the bloody transition to majority rule, he discovered a land stalked by death and danger.

Season of Blood: A Rwandan Journey

When President Habyarimana’s jet was shot down in April 1994, Rwanda erupted into a hundred-day orgy of killing – which left up to a million dead. The world’s media showed the shocking pictures, and then largely moved on. Fergal Keane travelled through the country as the genocide was continuing, and his powerful account reveals the terrible truths behind the headlines. He takes us to the scene of the appalling massacre at Nyarubuye, to the camp in Tanzania where the chief perpetrator lives like a prince, to the orphanages and Red Cross hospital, through territory controlled by Hutu extremists, and behind the siege lines, as Kigali is about to fall. Yet his searing descriptions are matched by trenchant political and historical analysis.

This book offers a few brief glimpses of hope – of individual decency and heroism – but is essentially the story of an encounter with evil. It offers an unforgettable portrait of one of the century’s greatest man-made catastrophes.

In Search of a State: Catholics in Northern Ireland

An invaluable source for students of the Northern Irish conflict, this is a courageous examination of the monolith of northern Catholicism and of the intricate realities behind it. O’Connor is one of Ireland’s leading political journalists and a highly respected commentator. Her book, based on extensive interviews, is the first study of the Catholic community in Northern Ireland. It examines Catholic attitudes to Britain, the Republic of Ireland, the Catholic Church, and Protestants and the IRA campaign.

The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence

World attention has focused on the newly independent Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, as they struggle to become politically and economically viable. In this book, Anatol Lieven presents an intimate and engaging portrait of the history and culture of the Baltic states from their ancient origins to their contemporary status. He explores the culture and personality of the Baltic peoples, their religious and racial differences, their relations with Russia and with the West, and their prospects for the future. Lieven begins by describing the ancient Baltic peoples, their conquest by the Christians, the evolution of the Lithuanian empire and their union with Poland, and the experience of the Baltic provinces under the Russian Empire. He then looks at the countries’ first struggle for independence in 1918, the failure of democracy and the establishment of authoritarian regimes, and the Soviet annexation of the Baltic in 1940. Lieven discusses the class structure of the Baltics and the ethnic tensions that have existed between the Germans, Jews, Poles, and Russians who live there. Drawing on a wide range of sources including interviews, newspaper accounts, and his own observations, he describes and analyzes the rise of national movements in each of the three countries after Glastnost. He concludes by discussing the new constitutions and the elections of 1992, the current forces of order, the demolition of the Soviety economies, and the possibilities for democracy and Europeanization or for ethnic conflict and nationalist dictatorship.