Winners of the Political Book Awards 2013
Posted on April 27, 2013 by NBA Webmaster. More news
The Day Parliament Burned Down by Caroline Shenton, published by OUP, won the Political Book of the Year, at the inaugural Paddy Power and Total Politics Political Book Awards. The glittering ceremony, hosted by author and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth, and held at the BFI IMAX, was attended by a select audience of authors, publishers and politicians.
A cheque for £10,000 was donated and presented to the winning author by Lord Ashcroft, KCMG PC. The book was up against fierce competition in a category which included Live from Downing Street by Nick Robinson (Bantam Press), The Burden of Power by Alastair Campbell (Hutchinson), Education, Education, Education by Andrew Adonis (Biteback Publishing), Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson (Profile Books), Britain’s Quest for a Role by David Hannay (I.B. Tauris), Ever the Diplomat by Sherard Cowper-Coles (HarperPress), Everybody Matters by Mary Robinson (Hodder & Stoughton) , A History of the World by Andrew Marr (Macmillan) and The Politics of Coalition by Robert Hazell and Ben Yong (Hart Publishing). However, in spite of all the impressive entrants on the shortlist, the judges for this category – Lord Ashcroft, Professor Mary Beard, Chris Mullin, Keith Simpson MP, Carolyn Quinn and Adam Boulton – reached a unanimous decision when they met to choose the winner. Mary Beard described the book as ‘microhistory at its absolute best’.
Lord Ashcroft also donated money for two other prizes; Patrick Kennedy, CEO of chief award sponsor Paddy Power, presented a cheque for £3,000 to Ian Cobain, author of Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture (Portobello Books), which won the Debut Political Book of the Year.
Owen Jones, an author and columnist on The Independent, won the award for Young Writer of the Year and received his cheque from former GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips.
There was strong competition for the Political Biography of the Year. The shortlist included The Burden of Power by Alastair Campbell (Hutchinson), Last Man Standing by Jack Straw (Macmillan), Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor by Adrian Fort (Jonathan Cape), Inside the Centre: The Life of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Ray Monk (Jonathan Cape), A Kick against the Pricks: The Autobiography by David Norris (Transworld Ireland) and Events, Dear Boy, Events by Ruth Winstone (Profile Books). The award was won by Muckraker: The Scandalous Life and Times of W. T. Stead by W. Sydney Robinson (The Robson Press), who received his award from Ann Widdecombe, one of the category judges. This is his first book.
Ian McEwan’s novel, Sweet Tooth (Jonathan Cape), won Political Fiction Book of the Year, which was presented by Alastair Campbell, one of the judges for that award.
The Political Humour/Satire category was won by The Best of Matt 2012 (Orion). Telegraph cartoonist Matthew Pritchett received his award from Margaret Thatcher impersonator Steve Nallon, who entertained guests at the ceremony with his fantastic performance as the former Prime Minister.
Writer and campaigner Jemima Khan presented the award for International Affairs Book of the Year, which was won by Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson (Profile Books).
Polemic of the Year went to You Can’t Read This Book by Nick Cohen (Fourth Estate) and was presented by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a commentator and journalist on The Independent.
Lady Antonia Fraser presented Christopher Duggan, author of Fascist Voices (Bodley Head), with the award for Political History Book of the Year.
Television presenter Peter Snow presented the award for Political Process Book of the Year. The award was won by Ever the Diplomat by Sherard Cowper-Coles (HarperPress).
The award for Lifetime Achievement in Political Literature went to former MP and Cabinet minister Tony Benn for his outstanding contribution to politics and political writing. It was presented by Chris Mullin and a short film documenting his life, courtesy of Praslin Pictures, was shown beforehand.
Patrick Kennedy, CEO of Paddy Power, said:
‘These awards celebrate the insight, wit and, in many cases, downright bravery of political authors who bring so much to the political debate.
Our aim in this area has always been to spark debate and get people talking, as well as bringing a bit of fun to affairs of state, and we hope that the Paddy Power and Total Politics Political Book Awards will do just that on the UK political scene.’
Iain Dale, the brains behind the awards, said, ‘These awards celebrate the fantastic breadth of political writing in the UK today. We hope that they will encourage more people both to write and read political literature, and that they will become an annual event in the publishing awards calendar.’