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The Orwell Prize

The Orwell PrizeThe Orwell Prize was set up in 1994 by the late Sir Bernard Crick, funded by the hardback royalties of his biography of George Orwell. It rewards political writing that, in the opinion of the judges, comes closest to George Orwell's ambition "to make political writing into an art". Crick served as Chair of the judging panel until 2006, whereupon he was replaced by Professor Jean Seaton. Each year's judges are presented with a set of Orwell's values to aid their decision-making.

The prize began with two categories, Book and Journalism, with a third, Blog, being added in 2009.

The 2017 winner, announced on 15th June, was John Bew for his biography of Clement Attlee, Citizen Clem.

Commenting on the book judge Erica Wagner said: A book both magisterial and gripping, this biography of Labour’s unlikely postwar hero offers a portrait of a modest man whose achievement was not modest at all: the building of the modern Welfare State. Revealing both the strength of an individual and the strengths of a society, this is necessary reading in 2017.”

This year judges are: critic, journalist and broadcaster Alex Clark, author Kit de Waal, chair of the National Infrastructure Commission and a Labour peer Lord Andrew Adonis and the Financial Times book editor Lorien Kite

The longlist will be announced in March, followed by the shortlist in May and the prize winner in June.

 

 

2017 Shortlist

The Seven: The Lives and Legacies of...
(Paperback)
Ruth Dudley Edwards
 
A captivating re-examination of the Easter Rising, addressing the fundamental questions and myths surrounding Ireland's founding fathers
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Island Story: Journeys Through...
(Paperback)
J. D. Taylor
 
Synopsis coming soon.......
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Citizen Clem: A Biography of Attlee:...
(Paperback)
John Bew
 
The Orwell Prize-winning biography of Clement Attlee, a landmark contribution to the political dialogue by the 'outstanding historian of his generation'
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Another Day in the Death of America
(Paperback)
Gary Younge
 
Saturday, 23rd November 2013. It was just another day in America. And as befits an unremarkable day, ten children and teens were killed by gunfire. Far from being considered newsworthy...
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And the Sun Shines Now: How...
(Paperback)
Adrian Tempany
 
SHORTLISTED FOR THE GORDON BURN PRIZE FEATURED IN THE OBSERVER'S SPORTS WRITERS' BOOKS OF THE YEAR On 15 April 1989, 96 people were fatally injured on a football terrace at an FA...
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All Out War: The Full Story of How...
(Paperback)
Tim Shipman
 
The only book to tell the full story of how and why Britain voted to leave the EU.
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Previous winners of the Book Prize

2017 Citizen Clem by John Bew

2016 The Invention of Russia: The Journey from Gorbachev's Freedom to Putin's War by Arkady

2015 Private Island: Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else by James Meek

2014 This Boy by Alan Johnson

2013 A Very British Killing: The Death of Baha Mousa by A T Williams

2012 Dead Men Risen by Toby Harnden

2011 The Rule of Law by Tom Bingham

2010 Keeper: A Book About Memory, Identity, Isolation, Wordsworth and Cake by Andrea Gillies

2009 Fishing in Utopia: Sweden and the Future that Disappeared by Andrew Brown

2008 Palestinian Walks: Forays into a Vanishing Landscape by Raja Shehadeh

2007 Having It So Good: Britain in the Fifties by Peter Hennessy

2006 Moses, Citizen and Me by Delia Jarrett-Macauley

2005 The Likes of Us: A Biography of the White Working Class by Michael Collins

2004 The Breaking of Nations: Order and Chaos in the Twenty First Century by Robert Cooper

2003 Hoo-Hahs and Passing Frenzies: Collected Journalism 1991-2000 by Francis Wheen (currently out of print)

2002 Anthony Blunt: His Lives by Miranda Carter

2001 Virtual War by Michael Ignatieff

2000 The Case of Stephen Lawrence by Brian Cathcart (currently out of print)

1999 Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century in His Life by DM Thomas

1998 Jennie Lee: A Life by Patricia Hollis

1997 Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa by Peter Godwin

1996 Season of Blood: A Rwandan Journey by Fergal Keane

1995 In Search of a State: Catholics in Northern Ireland by Fionnuala O'Connor (currently out of print)

1994 The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence by Anatol Lieven


For winners of the Journalism and Blog categories, see the official Orwell Prize website.

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