2015 Cundill Prize Finalists

Posted on October 1st, 2015

There are now three potential winners in the running for the $75,000 US 2015 Cundill Prize.

Sven Beckert Empire of Cotton: A Global History

((Alfred A. Knopf))
Beckert Author Photo


Sven Beckert is the Laird Bell Professor of American History at Harvard University. Holding a PhD from Columbia University, he has written widely on the economic, social, and political history of capitalism. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including from Harvard Business School, the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, and the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History. He was also a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He lives in Cambridge, MA.

Susan Pedersen The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire

((Oxford University Press))
credit Veronica Douglin


Susan Pedersen is Professor of History and James P. Shenton Professor of the Core Curriculum at Columbia University.  A historian of British and international politics in the twentieth century, she has written on subjects ranging from the evolution of welfare states, to the impact of women’s movements on politics, to the nature of British imperial rule in Kenya and Hong Kong. Her most recent book, The Guardians:  The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire, was published in the summer of 2015.


The daughter of Canadian missionaries, Pedersen spent her childhood in Japan and Minnesota.  She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University, where she was Professor of History and served for a time as Dean for Undergraduate Education before moving to Columbia in 2003.  She has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the American Academy Berlin.  In 2014 she delivered the Ford Lectures at Oxford University on the subject of “Internationalism and Empire:  British Dilemmas, 1919-39”. A regular contributor to the London Review of Books, she lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Bettina Stangneth Eichmann before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer

((Bodley Head))
© Dieter Rielk
Book Cover


Bettina Stangneth wrote her dissertation on Immanuel Kant and the concept of ‘Radical Evil’ and has written extensively about anti-Semitism in 18th century and National Socialist philosophy. In 2000 she was awarded first prize by the Philosophical–Political Academy, Cologne. She lives in Hamburg.