Shortlist announced: Cundill International Prize in History at McGill

Historians in the News

Cundill International Prize in History at McGill Winner of world's largest non-fiction historical literature award to be chosen from list of three

Again this year, the jury for the Cundill International Prize in History at McGill struggled to make the shortlist from 10 very worthy contenders. "The debate was vigorous, occasionally heated, and altogether stimulating," said jury member Kenneth Whyte, who is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Maclean's Magazine. "There were compelling arguments made for several books that didn't make the cut, but in the end the six judges all pronounced themselves pleased with the shortlist."

The three titles selected as finalists for the 2009 Cundill International Prize in History, the world's largest non-fiction historical literature award, are:

Champlain's Dream (Knopf Canada) by Brandeis University history professor and Pulitzer Prize-winner, David Hackett Fischer.

The Comanche Empire (Yale University Press) by Finnish-born professor of Native American history at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Pekka Hämäläinen.

Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland's Glory (Harper Publishers) by University of London professor of Renaissance Studies and journalist, Lisa Jardine.

"The three finalists are very different books, covering England's debts to Dutch culture and politics, Champlain's founding of a new civilization on the St. Lawrence, and power struggles among Natives and Europeans in the American West, yet all three feature beautiful writing, original and important ideas, and impeccable scholarship," Whyte explained.

The prize, now in its second year, will be awarded to an author who has published a book determined to have a profound literary, social and academic impact on the subject. The university will grant the equivalent of one full prize of $75,000 U.S. and two "Recognition of Excellence" awards of $10,000 U.S.

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