The 'global and eclectic' longlist for the 2010 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize has been unveiled.
Seeking to recognise the best non-fiction books published in English, the GBP 20,000 award was won last year by Philip Hoare for Leviathan or The Whale, while previous winners include Antony Beevor and Kate Summerscale.
This year's 19-strong longlist includes William Dalrymple's Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India, Too Big to Fail: Inside the Battle to save Wall Street by Andrew Ross Sorkin and Richard Wrangham's Catching Fire: How Cooking made us Human.
Two first-time authors also feature in the nominations - Edward Hollis for The Secret Lives of Buildings and Said Sayrafiezadeh with When Skateboards will be Free.
Chair of judges Evan Davis, BBC presenter, journalist and economist, commented: 'This is an unusual and eclectic long list of terrific books. It is particularly gratifying that our selection demonstrates the worldliness of good non-fiction writing.'
Last year, Hoare's winning book was praised by judges for its 'dream-like' prose and ability to raise non-fiction to the level of literature.
To see the full 2010 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize longlist, click here.