Investigative journalist John Carreyrou has won the £30,000 Financial Times and McKinsey & Company Business Book of the Year Award 2018 for Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup (Picador).
The book, covering the rise and fall of the disgraced blood-testing firm Theranos, from the Pulitzer-prize winning journalist who first broke the story, was praised “a brilliant piece of enterprise journalism” that at times reads like a thriller.
Rewarding “the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues”, the prize was awarded on Monday evening (12th November) at a ceremony held at the National Gallery in London. Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, and Kevin Sneader, global managing partner of McKinsey & Company, presented Carreyrou with the award while the keynote speaker at the ceremony was Charlotte Hogg, c.e.o. Europe, Visa.
Barber said Carreyrou had “cracked the story of Theranos despite threats”, adding: “He just gives us the facts and they are devastating. It’s well written and reads at times like a thriller."
Sneader said: “Bad Blood is a distinctive piece of work. There are lessons here about the importance of governance, and the proper trade-offs between fostering innovation and conducting due diligence. Above all, it combines deep reporting with the narrative pulse of a well-told detective story.”
Carreyrou bested five other titles shortlisted: The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India's New Gilded Age by James Crabtree (Oneworld); Capitalism in America: A History by Alan Greenspan and Adrian Wooldridge (Allen Lane); Give People Money: The Simple Idea to Solve Inequality and Revolutionise our Lives by Annie Lowrey (WH Allen); The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy by Mariana Mazzucato, (Allen Lane); and New Power: How It's Changing The 21st Century - And Why You Need To Know by Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans (Pan Macmillan). Each of the shortlisted authors took home a runners-up cheque for £10,000.
Also announced was the winner of the 2018 Bracken Bower Prize, designed to encourage young authors to tackle emerging business themes. Andrew Leon Hanna won the £15,000 prize for his book proposal, 25 Million Sparks, which examines the rise of refugee entrepreneurs in a global crisis. It beat entries from 22 countries on topics ranging from technology, to gender, to the ethics of business.
"There were a diverse, inventive range of proposals entered, with many writers seeking out fresh angles on business,” the judges said. “The winner typifies this by uncovering the powerful entrepreneurial spirit unleashed by the toughest of global forces – the refugee diaspora. We can’t wait to read more about the stories he discovers and what they can teach us all."
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