Orwell shortlist reflects "continuing power" of political history

Orwell shortlist reflects "continuing power" of political history

The shortlist for this year’s Orwell Prize for books includes Alan Johnson’s This Boy (Bantam) and Charles Moore’s Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography (Allen Lane).

The six shortlisted books were whittled down from 235 entries. The prize awards the best political writing.

Alongside Johnson and Moore are Gaiutra Bahadur for Coolie Woman (Hurst); Frank Dikötter’s The Tragedy of Liberation (Bloomsbury); James Fergusson’s The World’s Most Dangerous Place (Bantam); and David Goodhart’s The British Dream (Atlantic).

Jean Seaton, the director of the Orwell Prize, said: “The shortlist demonstrates the continuing power and resonance of political history. Many of the authors in this shortlist are extremely close to their subjects, both intellectually and personally. This makes for compelling writing that we would be more poorly equipped without.”

The judges for the prize are broadcasters Sue MacGregor and Trevor Phillips, and Robert McCrum, associate editor of the Observer.

Also announced today was the shortlist for the Orwell Prize for journalism, which consists of Aditya Chakrabortty and Jonathan Freedland of The Guardian, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad of The Guardian and London Review of Books, James Astill of The Economist, AA Gill of The Sunday Times, Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times, and Mary Riddell of The Daily Telegraph.

The winners of the prizes, who will each get £3,000, will be announced on 21st May.