Kate Clanchy is a writer, teacher and journalist. Her poetry collection Slattern won a Forward Prize. Her short story ‘The Not-Dead and the Saved’ won both the 2009 BBC National Short Story Award and the VS Pritchett Memorial Prize. Her novel Meeting the English was shortlisted for the Costa Prize. Her BBC 3 radio programme about her work with students was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes prize. In 2018 she was awarded an MBE for services to literature, and an anthology of her students’ work, England: Poems from a School, was published to great acclaim. In 2019 she published Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me, a book about her experience of teaching in state schools for several decades.
Charles Moore joined the staff of the Daily Telegraph in 1979, and as a political columnist in the 1980s covered several years of Mrs Thatcher’s first and second governments. He was Editor of the Spectator 1984-1990; Editor of the Sunday Telegraph 1992-1995; and Editor of the Daily Telegraph 1995-2003, for which he is still a regular columnist. The first volume of his biography of Margaret Thatcher, published in 2013, won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography, the H.W. Fisher Best First Biography Prize and Political Book of the Year at the Paddy Power Political Book Awards.
The judges say:
Julia Lovell is Professor of Modern China at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her two most recent books are The Great Wall and The Opium War (which won the 2012 Jan Michalski Prize). Her many translations of modern Chinese fiction into English include Lu Xun’s The Real Story of Ah Q, and other Tales of China (2009). She is currently completing a new translation of Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en. She writes about China for several newspapers, including the Guardian, Financial Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
Robert Service is a Fellow of the British Academy and of St Antony’s College, Oxford. He has written several books, including the highly acclaimed Lenin: A Biography, Russia: Experiment with a People , Stalin: A Biography and Comrades: A History of World Communism, as well as many other books on Russia’s past and present. Trotsky: A Biography was awarded the 2009 Duff Cooper Prize. Married with four children, he lives in London.
Azadeh Moaveni is a journalist, writer and academic, who has been covering the the Middle East for nearly two decades. She started reporting in Cairo in 1999 while on a Fulbright fellowship, and worked across the region for the next several years, covering Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and Iraq. A Pulitzer finalist, she is the author of Lipstick Jihad, Honeymoon in Tehran, and co-author, with Iranian Nobel Peace Laurate Shirin Ebadi, of Iran Awakening, which has been translated into over forty languages.. She is Director of the Project for Gender and Conflict at the International Crisis Group and Lecturer in Journalism at New York University, London.
Hussein Kesvani is a journalist, editor and producer based in London. He is the Europe editor of MEL Magazine, and has written for BuzzFeed, Vice, The Guardian, the New Statesman and The Spectator, among others
Tim Bouverie read history at Christ Church, Oxford. From 2013-2017 he was a political journalist at Channel 4 News, where he worked alongside Michael Crick, as his producer, and covered all major political events, including both the 2015 and 2017 General Elections and the EU Referendum. He regularly reviews history and politics books, and has written for the Spectator, Observer and Daily Telegraph. He has also for the last five years worked at the Chalke Valley History Festival as an interviewer.
The judges say:
Helen Parr was aged seven when she was woken up by her mother with the news that her uncle had been killed in the Falklands War. This book is based in part on her wish to understand what happened: the story of a specific paratrooper, the world in which he lived and the people he left behind, and the Falklands War itself. She is a historian of modern Britain who teaches international relations at Keele University. Her essay ‘The Eurosceptic’s Moment’ was co-winner of the 2017 Hennessy Prize.
‘Moneyland is a fascinating forensic analysis of the lack of transparency in the global money world, how we got to this point, the direction of travel and how it affects us all. Very well researched and written – an important book’ – Helen Pankhurst
‘A thought-provoking and surprisingly entertaining book exploring how we measure our economy’ – Tulip Siddiq
Akala is a BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist, writer, political commentator and social entrepreneur, as well as the co-founder of The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company. An internationally renowned musician, Akala has led innovative projects in music, education and the arts internationally. More recently known for his compelling lectures and journalism – he has been awarded an honorary degree from Oxford Brookes University and the University of Brighton, written for the Guardian, Huffington Post and the Independent, appeared on Channel 4, ITV, MTV and the BBC, and spoken for the Oxford Union and TEDx. Natives, his book on race and class in Britain, has been shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize and the James Tait Black Prize.
Caitlin Davies was born in London in 1964. She is the author of five novels and five non-fiction books, and has worked as a teacher and freelance journalist for 25 years. In 1989 she moved to Botswana where she worked for the country’s first tabloid newspaper, the Voice, and later as editor of the Okavango Observer. She received a Journalist of the Year award. From 2014-2017 she worked as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Westminster, Harrow, in the faculty of Media, Arts & Design.
Isabel Hardman is a journalist and broadcaster. She is Assistant Editor of The Spectator and presents Week In Westminster on BBC Radio 4. In 2015, she was named ‘Journalist of the Year’ at the Political Studies Association’s annual awards. She lives in London.
Lindsey Hilsum is Channel 4 News International Editor. She has covered many of the conflicts of recent years, including Syria, Ukraine and the Arab Spring – sometimes alongside Marie Colvin. In 1994, she was the only English-speaking foreign correspondent in Rwanda when the genocide began. She was in Belgrade for the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia, and in Baghdad for the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. She has won awards from the Royal Television Society and BAFTA amongst others, and was the recipient of the 2017 Patron’s Medal from the Royal Geographical Society. Her last book Sandstorm: Libya from Gadaffi to Revolution was described by the Observeras ‘an account with historical depth to match dramatic reportage.’
Julian Jackson is Professor of History at Queen Mary, University of London and one of the foremost British experts on twentieth-century France. His previous books include France: The Dark Years, 1940-1944, which was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times History Book Award, and his celebrated The Fall of France, which won the Wolfson History Prize in 2004. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques.
Patrick Radden Keefe is a staff writer at the New Yorker magazine and the author of two critically acclaimed books, The Snakehead and Chatter. He received the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing in 2014, was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Reporting in 2015 and 2016 and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellowship at the New America Foundation.
This haunting and timely portrait of The Troubles opens with the disappearance of a mother of ten and radiates outwards to encompass the entire conflict, giving voice to characters and stories often shrouded in silence, and leaving an indelible and nuanced impression of the human cost of this unstable chapter of history.”
Ted Hodgkinson, judge
‘In Nightmarch Alpa Shah explains the logic behind the Naxalite movement in India through her own encounters with them. She does so beautifully and thoughtfully, in sympathy yet critically, academically yet in the most simple and absorbing of ways’ – Helen Pankhurst
‘An artful examination of the cultural inheritance passed down between generations of a German family, Heimat illuminates the universal need for belonging, and the challenge of attempting to forge this fragile sense of rootedness from a fragmentary and chequered past’ – Ted Hodgkinson