Baillie Gifford Prize
The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction (formerly the Samuel Johnson Prize from 1999 to 2015) is an annual British book prize for the best non-fiction writing in the English language. It was founded in 1999 following the demise of the NCR Book Award. With its motto "All the best stories are true", the prize covers current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts. The competition is open to authors of any nationality whose work is published in the UK in English. The longlist, shortlist and winner is chosen by a panel of independent judges, which changes every year. The award is named for Baillie Gifford, an investment management firm and the primary sponsor. Since 2016, the annual dinner and awards ceremony has been sponsored by the Blavatnik Family Foundation.
The prize is governed by the Board of Directors of The Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction Limited, a not-for-profit company.
Prior to the establishment of the Samuel Johnson Prize, Britain's premier literary award for non-fiction was the NCR Book Award which had been established in 1987. In 1997, the NCR Award experienced a scandal when it was revealed the judges, many of them chosen for their popularity rather than literary qualities, had used "ghost readers" and were not expected to read the books they voted on. Because of this and other problems the award ceased operations. In response, one of the previous winners of NCR Award, Peter Hennessy, approached Penguin with the idea for a new award. An anonymous benefactor was found who funded the establishment of the Samuel Johnson Prize. The prize was named after the English 18th-century author and lexicographer Samuel Johnson.
From its inception through 2001, the prize was independently financed by the founding benefactor. In 2002, it was taken over by the BBC and named in full the BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize and managed by BBC Four. In 2009, it was renamed as BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction and managed by BBC Two. The new name reflected the BBC's commitment to broadcasting coverage of the Prize on the BBC2 programme, The Culture Show. In 2016, the name was changed to the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, after its new primary sponsor, the Edinburgh-based investment management company Baillie Gifford.
Prior to the 2009 name change, the winner received £30,000, and each finalist received £2,500. After 2009, the award was £20,000 for the winner, and each finalist received £1,000. In February 2012, the steering committee for the prize announced that a new sponsor had been found for the prize, an anonymous philanthropist, enabling the prize to be raised to £25,000. In 2015, funding for the prize was arranged by the Blavatnik Family Foundation, while the organisers sought new primary sponsors from 2016 onwards. In 2016, under new sponsors Baillie Gifford, the prize money was restored to £30,000 for the winner.
It is widely considered to be the UK's most prestigious award for non-fiction authors.
Winners and shortlistsEdit
- Hannah Fry, Hello World: How to be Human in The Age of The Machine
- Ben Macintyre, The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War
- Thomas Page McBee, Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man
- Stephen Platt, Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China’s Last Golden Age
- Serhii Plokhii, Chernobyl: History of A Tragedy
- Carl Zimmer, She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions and Potential of Heredity
The longlist was not publicly announced. The shortlist was announced on 2 October 2018. The 2018 judging panel was chaired by The Economist’s culture correspondent, Fiammetta Rocco, with Stephen Bush, journalist and political commentator; Susan Brigden, historian; Anne-Marie Imafidon, mathematician and campaigner; and Nigel Warburton, philosopher.
- David France, How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS
- Christopher de Bellaigue, The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle Between Faith and Reason
- Kapka Kassabova, Border: A Journey to The Edge of Europe
- Daniel Mendelsohn, An Odyssey: A Father, A Son and An Epic
- Mark O'Connell, To Be A Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death
- Simon Schama, Belonging: The Story of the Jews, 1492-1900
The longlist was announced on 8 September and the shortlist was announced on 6 October. The 2017 judging panel was chaired by chaired by author and Chairman of ITV Sir Peter Bazalgette, together with Anjana Ahuja, science writer; Ian Bostridge, tenor and writer; Professor Sarah Churchwell, academic and writer and Razia Iqbal, journalist and broadcaster.
- Philippe Sands, East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity
- Svetlana Alexievich, Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets
- Margo Jefferson, Negroland: A Memoir
- Hisham Matar, The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land In Between
The longlist was announced on 21 September and the shortlist was announced on 17 October. The 2016 judging panel was chaired by former BBC Economics Editor Stephanie Flanders, together with Philip Ball, science writer and author; Jonathan Derbyshire, executive comment editor of the Financial Times; Dr Sophie Ratcliffe, scholar, writer and literary critic and Rohan Silva, co-founder of the social enterprise, Second Home.
- Steve Silberman, Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently
- Jonathan Bate, Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life
- Robert Macfarlane, Landmarks
- Laurence Scott, The Four-Dimensional Human: Ways of Being in the Digital World
- Emma Sky, The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq
- Samanth Subramanian, This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan Civil War
The longlist for the 2015 prize was announced on 22 September and the shortlist was announced on 11 October. The 2015 judging panel was chaired by Pulitzer prize-winning historian and journalist Anne Applebaum, together with Editor of Intelligent Life Emma Duncan, Editor of New Scientist Sumit Paul-Choudhury, Director of China Centre at Oxford University Professor Rana Mitter and former Controller of Film and Drama and Head of Film 4 Tessa Ross.
- Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk
- John Campbell, Roy Jenkins: A Biography
- Marion Coutts, The Iceberg: A Memoir
- Greg Grandin, The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World
- Alison Light, Common People: The History of an English Family
- Caroline Moorehead, Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France
The longlist was announced on 1 September 2014. The shortlist was announced on 8 October 2014. The 2014 judging panel was chaired by author and historian Claire Tomalin, accompanied by Alan Johnson MP, Financial Times Books Editor Lorien Kite, philosopher Ray Monk and historian Ruth Scurr.
- Lucy Hughes-Hallett, The Pike: Gabriele D'Annunzio, Poet, Seducer and Preacher of War
- David Crane, Empires of the Dead: How One Man’s Vision led to the Creation of WWI's World Graves
- William Dalrymple, Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan
- Dave Goulson, A Sting in the Tale: My Adventures with Bumblebees
- Charlotte Higgins, Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain
- Charles Moore, Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography
The longlist, which was announced on 6 September 2013, featured 18 books. The Guardian reported that this year, judges showed a preference for history and biography, at the expense of works in science. On 30 September, judges announced the shortlist. The 2013 judging panel was chaired by the cosmologist and Astronomer Royal, Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, accompanied by classical historian Mary Beard, director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti, historian Peter Hennessy and the writer and critic James McConnachie.
- Wade Davis, Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest
- Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Slum
- Robert Macfarlane, The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot
- Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity
- Paul Preston, The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain
- Sue Prideaux, Strindberg: A Life
The longlist was announced 17 September 2012, the shortlist was announced 5 October. The winner was announced 12 November. The monetary prize for 2012 was £20,000 for the winner. The judges were David Willetts, Patrick French, Paul Laity, Bronwen Maddox, Raymond Tallis.
- Frank Dikötter, Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958–1962
- Andrew Graham-Dixon, Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane (biography of Caravaggio)
- Maya Jasanoff, Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World
- Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves
- Jonathan Steinberg, Bismarck: A Life (biography of Otto von Bismarck)
- John Stubbs, Reprobates: The Cavaliers of the English Civil War
- Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
- Alex Bellos, Alex's Adventures in Numberland: Dispatches from the Wonderful World of Mathematics
- Luke Jennings, Blood Knots: On Fathers, Friendship and Fishing
- Andrew Ross Sorkin, Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves
- Jenny Uglow, A Gambling Man: Charles II and the Restoration
- Richard Wrangham, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human
- Philip Hoare, Leviathan or, The Whale
- Liaquat Ahamed, Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World
- Ben Goldacre, Bad Science
- David Grann, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
- Richard Holmes, The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science
- Manjit Kumar, Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality
The longlist was announced 14 May 2009. The shortlist was announced in late May. The judges announced the winner of the prize at an awards event at King's Place, London on 30 June. The monetary prize for 2009 was £20,000 for the winner, and each finalist receives £1000. The judges were Mark Lythgoe, Tim Marlow, Munira Mirza, Sarah Sands, Jacob Weisberg.
- Kate Summerscale, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or the Murder at Road Hill House
- Tim Butcher, Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart
- Mark Cocker, Crow Country
- Orlando Figes, The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia
- Patrick French, The World Is What It Is: The Authorised Biography of VS Naipaul
- Alex Ross, The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century
The longlist was announced on 16 April 2008, the shortlist on 15 May 2008, and the winner on 15 July 2008. The judges were Claire Armitstead, Daljit Nagra, Chris Rapley, Hannah Rothschild, Rosie Boycott.
- Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone
- Ian Buruma, Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance
- Peter Hennessey, Having it so Good: Britain in the Fifties
- Georgina Howell, Daughter of the Desert: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell (about Gertrude Bell)
- Dominic Streatfeild, Brainwash: The Secret History of Mind Control
- Adrian Tinniswood, The Verneys: A True Story of Love, War, and Madness in Seventeenth-Century England
- James S. Shapiro, 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare
- Alan Bennett, Untold Stories
- Jerry Brotton, The Sale of the Late King's Goods: Charles I and his Art Collection
- Carmen Callil, Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family & Fatherland
- Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945
- Tom Reiss, The Orientalist: In Search of a Man Caught between East and West
- Jonathan Coe, Like A Fiery Elephant: The Story of B. S. Johnson
- Alexander Masters, Stuart: A Life Backwards
- Suketu Mehta, Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found
- Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
- Hilary Spurling, Matisse the Master: The Conquest of Colour 1909–1954 (about Henri Matisse)
- Sarah Wise, The Italian Boy: Murder and Grave-Robbery in 1830s London
- Anna Funder, Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall 
- Anne Applebaum, Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps
- Jonathan Bate, John Clare: A Biography
- Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything
- Aidan Hartley, The Zanzibar Chest: A Memoir of Love and War
- Tom Holland, Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic
- T. J. Binyon, Pushkin: A Biography
- Orlando Figes, Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia
- Aminatta Forna, The Devil that Danced on the Water: A Daughter's Memoir of her Father, her Family, her Country and a Continent
- Olivia Judson, Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex
- Claire Tomalin, Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self (about Samuel Pepys)
- Edgar Vincent, Nelson: Love and Fame (about Lord Nelson)
- Margaret MacMillan, Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War
- Eamon Duffy, The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village
- William Fiennes, The Snow Geese
- Richard Hamblyn, The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies
- Roy Jenkins, Churchill: a Biography (about Winston Churchill)
- Brendan Simms, Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia
- Michael Burleigh, The Third Reich: A New History
- Richard Fortey, Trilobite!: Eyewitness to Evolution
- Catherine Merridale, Night of Stone: Death and Memory in Russia
- Graham Robb, Rimbaud (about Arthur Rimbaud)
- Simon Sebag Montefiore, Prince of Princes: The Life of Potemkin (about Grigory Potemkin)
- Robert Skidelsky, John Maynard Keynes: Fighting for Britain, 1937–1946 (about John Maynard Keynes)
The shortlist was announced 23 May 2001. The judges were Niall Ferguson, Steve Jones, Annalena McAfee, Suzanna Taverne, Andrew Marr.
- David Cairns, Berlioz: Volume 2
- Tony Hawks, Playing the Moldovans at Tennis
- Brenda Maddox, Yeats's Ghosts: The Secret Life of W.B. Yeats (about W. B. Yeats)
- Matt Ridley, Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters
- William Shawcross, Deliver us from Evil: Warlords, Peacekeepers and a World of Endless Conflict
- Francis Wheen, Karl Marx (about Karl Marx)
The shortlist. The judges were Stephen Fry, Timothy Garton Ash, Susan Greenfield, Baroness Helena Kennedy, Nigella Lawson.
- Antony Beevor, Stalingrad
- Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1889–1936: Hubris (about Adolf Hitler)
- Ann Wroe, Pilate: The Biography of an Invented Man (about Pontius Pilate)
- John Diamond, C: Because Cowards Get Cancer Too
- Richard Holmes, Coleridge: Darker Reflections (about Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
- David Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations
The shortlist. The judges were Cherie Booth, Orlando Figes, Kate Summerscale, James Naughtie.
- "About the prize". Samuel Johnson Prize. Archived from the original on July 4, 2008.
The UK's most Prestigious non-fiction award
- Antony Beevor (29 June 2008). "The BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize". The Telegraph. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- Robert McCrum (16 June 2001). "A life of the Samuel Johnson Prize". The Guardian. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- "The 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction". Samuel Johnson Prize. 17 April 2009. Archived from the original on April 1, 2010.
- Douglas, James (23 May 2016). "Samuel Johnson Prize sets sights globally under new sponsorship deal". The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- "The Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction announces a new sponsor". Samuel Johnson Prize. 17 February 2012. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012.
- "Samuel Johnson seeks a new sponsor". London Evening Standard. 27 May 2015.
- Alison Flood (14 May 2009). "Science dominates Samuel Johnson prize longlist". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
..the UK's most prestigious non-fiction award..
- "Serhii Plokhy's Chernobyl wins The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, 2018". Baillie Gifford Prize. November 14, 2018. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
- "Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction announces judging panel and opens submissions". Baillie Gifford Prize. 2018. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
The 2018 longlist will not be announced, while the shortlist will be revealed in October.
- "The Baillie Gifford Prize 2018 announces shortlist". Baillie Gifford Prize. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- "How to Survive a Plague wins The Baillie Gifford Prize 2017". Baillie Gifford Prize. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- "The Baillie Gifford Prize 2017 announces longlist". Baillie Gifford Prize. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- "The Baillie Gifford Prize 2017 announces shortlist". Baillie Gifford Prize. 6 October 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Alison Flood. "Philippe Sands wins the 2016 Baillie Gifford prize for nonfiction". The Guardian. 15 November 2016.
- The Guardian (20 September 2016). "Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich heads longlist for UK's top nonfiction award". Alison Flood. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- Maev Kennedy (16 October 2016). "First-hand reporting dominates Baillie Gifford shortlist". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- "'Gripping' autism book wins Samuel Johnson prize". BBC News Online. 2 November 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
- "Contentious Ted Hughes book makes Samuel Johnson Prize longlist". BBC News Online. 22 September 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
- "The 2015 Shortlist". The Samuel Johnson Prize. 11 October 2015. Archived from the original on February 14, 2016.
- Clark, Nick. "Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction: Helen Macdonald wins with 'H is for Hawk'". The Independent. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- Alison Flood (1 September 2014). "Samuel Johnson prize 2014 longlist spotlights memoirs". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- Alison Flood (8 October 2014). "Samuel Johnson prize 2014 shortlist: two memoirs are among the 'uplifting' and 'compelling' finalists". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- Mark Brown (4 November 2013). "Biography of Italian fascist wins Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
- Liz Bury (6 September 2013). "Samuel Johnson prize longlist: history comes first as judges take the long view". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
- Charlotte Higgins (30 September 2013). "Samuel Johnson prize 2013 shortlist – in pictures". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
- "Rees to chair Samuel Johnson". 23 April 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
- Alison Flood (12 November 2012). "Into the Silence author Wade Davis wins Samuel Johnson award". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
- Alison Flood (17 September 2012). "Rushdie memoir heads Samuel Johnson prize longlist". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- Alison Flood (5 October 2012). "Six books to 'change our view of the world' on shortlist for non-fiction prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- Flood, Alison (6 July 2011). "Samuel Johnson prize won by 'hugely important' study of Mao". The Guardian.
- "2011 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize For Non-fiction Longlist announced". Samuel Johnson Prize. 1 April 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-01-18.
- Allison Flood (15 April 2011). "Biography dominates Samuel Johnson Prize longlist". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2011-04-19.
- "2011 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize For Non-fiction Shortlist announced". Samuel Johnson Prize. 14 June 2011. Archived from the original on June 28, 2012.
- "Gripping account of an Orwellian Society wins £20,000 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize 2010 for non-fiction". thesamueljohnsonprize.co.uk. July 1, 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-05-05.
- "BBC Samuel Johnson Longlist Announced". Samuel Johnson Prize. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012.
- "From Angling to Angles, BBC Samuel Johnson Shortlist Defies Simplistic Categorisation". Samuel Johnson Prize. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012.
- "'Leviathan, or The Whale' by Philip Hoare wins £20,000 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize". thesamueljohnsonprize.co.uk. June 30, 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-02-13.
- "2009 Longlist. BBC Samuel Johnson longlist announced". Samuel Johnson Prize. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012.
- "Science and Exploration Dominate Samuel Johnson Prize Shortlist". thesamueljohnsonprize.co.uk. May 22, 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-02-13.
- "2008 Winner Announced". Samuel Johnson Prize. 15 July 2008. Archived from the original on 2012-02-13.
- "2008 Longlist Announced". Samuel Johnson Prize. 16 April 2008. Archived from the original on 2009-03-12.
- "2008 Shortlist Announced". Samuel Johnson Prize. 15 May 2008. Archived from the original on 2009-03-12.
- "2007 Winner Announced". Samuel Johnson Prize. 18 June 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-01-05.
- "BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize Longlist". BBC Four. Archived from the original on 2008-05-14.
- "BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize Longlist". BBC Four. Archived from the original on 2008-09-25.
- "Previous Winners of the Samuel Johnson Prize". BBC Four. 1 December 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-10-05.
- John Ezard (27 March 2006). "Iraqi woman's Baghdad blog in the running for £30,000 book prize". The Guardian. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- John Ezard (24 May 2006). "Bestselling Bennett heads prize shortlist". The Guardian. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- Michelle Pauli (20 April 2005). "Samuel Johnson longlist celebrates variety". The Guardian. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- Michelle Pauli (12 May 2005). "First-timers triumph on Samuel Johnson shortlist". The Guardian. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- John Ezard (19 March 2004). "Non-fiction award goes cold on war". The Guardian. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- "The Samuel Johnson Prize 2004". The Samuel Johnson Prize. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- Michelle Pauli (1 April 2003). "Quirky tomes in richest non-fiction prize race". The Guardian. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- John Ezard (2 May 2003). "Sex manual for the birds and bees - and flies - is up for prize". The Guardian. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- Emma Yates (21 May 2002). "Longlist for lucrative prize announced". The Guardian. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- Tania Branigan (6 June 2002). "Six writers shortlisted for £30,000 award". The Guardian. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- Fiachra Gibbon (23 May 2001). "Trilobites edge Amis out of running for Samuel Johnson award". The Guardian. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- "The Samuel Johnson Prize 2000". The Samuel Johnson Prize. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- "The Samuel Johnson Prize 1999". The Samuel Johnson Prize. Retrieved October 5, 2018.