"Forensic and furious" books up for Orwell Prize

Titles on feminism, New Labour and the life and times of Christopher Hitchens have been longlisted for the 2011 Orwell Prize for political writing.

The announcement was made at an event on Wednesday [30th March]. Eighteen titles including Natasha Walters' Living Dolls (Virago), Whatever It Takes: The Real Story of Gordon Brown and New Labour by Steve Richards (Fourth Estate) and Hitch 22 by Christopher Hitchens (Atlantic) are all longlisted for the £3,000 book prize.

Prize director, Jean Seaton, said: "These books show that political writing can be tender or chilling, furious or forensic, magisterial—or very funny. The whole range of political life is distilled into tremendous prose in these books."

The judges this year comprised presenter and former Man Booker chair of judges Jim Naughtie; founder director of Virago Press Ursula Owen; and Will Skidelsky, books editor of the Observer.

The shortlists for the book, blog and journalism categories will be revealed on 26th April. The winners, who will each receive £3,000, will be announced on 18th May.

The longlisted books are:

The Rule of Law - Tom Bingham (Allen Lane)

Let Our Fame Be Great: Journeys Among the Defiant People of the Caucasus - Oliver Bullough (Penguin)

Chasing the Devil: The Search for Africa's Fighting Spirit - Tim Butcher (Chatto)

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism - Ha-Joon Chang (Penguin)

The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance - Edmund De Waal (Chatto)
The Betrayal - Helen Dunmore (Fig Tree)

Ernest Gellner - John A Hall(Verso)

A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain - Owen Hatherley (Verso)

Hitch-22 - Christopher Hitchens (Atlantic Books)

We Are a Muslim, Please - Zaiba Malik (William Heinemann)

Death to the Dictator! - Afsaneh Moqadam (The Bodley Head)

Why the West Rules for Now - Ian Morris (Profile)

Decline and Fall - Chris Mullin (Profile)

Enough is Enough - Fintan O'Toole (Faber)

Whatever It Takes: The Real Story of Gordon Brown and New Labour - Steve Richards (Fourth Estate)

Red Plenty - Francis Spufford (Faber)

Supermac: The Life of Harold MacMillan - D R Thorpe (Chatto)

Living Dolls - Natasha Walter (Virago)