Cundill History Prize finalises judging panel for 2020

Cundill History Prize finalises judging panel for 2020

Historians Anne Applebaum, Eliga Gould and Sujit Sivasundaram, and BBC chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet, are joining The Silk Roads author Peter Frankopan as judges for the $75,000 Cundill History Prize.

Applebaum (pictured) is senior fellow at John Hopkins University, staff writer at the Atlantic, and author of Red Famine and the Cundill History Prize-winning Iron Curtain (Penguin). Gould is a professor of History at the University of New Hampshire and a Jamestown Prize-winner. British Sri Lankan historian Sujit Sivasundaram is professor of World History at Cambridge University and the recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize for History.

Worth $75,000 to the winner and $10,000 to each of the two runners up, the Cundill History Prize prize is the biggest for a work of non-fiction in English.

Applebaum described how in this challenging time in world history the importance of quality history books is clearer than ever. "There has never been a moment when good history—fact-based, well-researched but also well-written—has been so necessary," she said. "It is so easy now to turn the past into myth; great history books can prevent that from happening."

Adapting to the pandemic, the international prize for history writing received over 300 digital-only submissions by its 1st May deadline. The judges will shortly be sent pre-loaded e-readers to facilitate the reading period over the summer months, before they will hold their first meeting, via video conference, to decide the 2020 shortlist.

The shortlist will be announced mid-September.