Sebastian Mallaby has won the £30,000 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2016 for The Man Who Knew (Bloomsbury). Meanwhile, Nora Rosendahl was awarded the Bracken Bower Prize for her book proposal Mental Meltdown.
Mallaby’s The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan is a biography of one of the “titans” of recent financial history, American economist Alan Greenspan. According to the judges, the book “brilliantly shows the subtlety and complexity of Greenspan’s legacy”.
Mallaby saw off competition from a shortlist of titles that ranged in theme from the gender imbalance to the productivity gap, to win the £30,000 prize. The shortlisted titles were What Works: Gender Equality by Design by Iris Bohnet (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press), Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built by Duncan Clark (HarperCollins), Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business by Rana Foroohar (Crown Publishing), The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War by Robert J. Gordon (Princeton University Press) and The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott (Bloomsbury). Each of the five runners-up received £10,000.
The award recognises the book that provides the most “compelling and enjoyable” insight into modern business issues. It was presented to Mallaby at a ceremony at the National Gallery in London by Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times and chair of the panel of judges, and Vivian Hunt, managing partner of UK and Ireland, McKinsey & Company.
Sebastian Mallaby, Nora Rosendahl and Vivian Hunt
Barber said: “The Man Who Knew is an impressive work of scholarship. It is a masterpiece of political economy, and above all it is a great and enjoyable read.”
Hunt added: “The Man Who Knew casts a bright light on the life and times of a central banker who shaped our modern economy. This book marries the biographers humanising touch with a fascinating inside look at how policy decisions are actually reached in the real world.”
The Financial Times and McKinsey & Company also announced Nora Rosendahl as the winner of the Bracken Bower Prize 2016. The award is designed to encourage young writers to tackle emerging business themes, with a focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by growth.
Jorma Ollila, judge of the prize and chairman of stainless stell company Outokumpu, said: “We had a shortlist of excellent entries with Nora’s original proposal for a book on mental health of the millennial generation emerging as the winner in a close race.”
Rosendahl’s book proposal, Mental Meltdown, which examines the impact of work-generated stress and exhaustion, was awarded £15,000. It beat a “record” number of entries from 22 countries on topics ranging from technology, to gender, to the future of work.