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'Dazzling' winner for Bread and Roses award
02.05.12 | Katie Allen
A title about the history of debt has won the first-ever Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing, awarded on International Workers' Day, 1st May.
David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years, published by Melville House and distributed by Turnaround, took the £1,000 prize, narrowly beating Nicholas Shaxson's Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World (Vintage) in the final hour, according to the judges.
Judge Nina Power said the book "breaks many rules, and does so excellently in each case: this is a book that covers so much material, refers to so many historical periods and geographical spaces, that the reader is dazzled—not only by the easy erudition of the writer but about how much it is possible to learn and with so little pain."
The other shortlisted titles were: Counterpower: Making Change Happen by Tim Gee (New Internationalist); Tweets from Tahrir: Egypt's Revolution as it Unfolded, in the Words of the People Who Made It edited by Nadia Idle and Alex Nunns (OR Books); Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones (Verso); and Pluto Press titles Magical Marxism by Andy Merrifield and Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent by Laurie Penny.
The Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing aims to promote the publication of radical books, to raise the profile of radical publishing, and to reward exceptional work. Its inaugural year also coincides with the centenary year of the Bread and Roses strike.