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The 2021 Cundill History Prize Finalists

Rebecca Clifford

Survivors: Children's Lives after the Holocaust

Yale University Press

Marie Favereau

The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World

Belknap Press of Harvard University Press

Marjoleine Kars

Blood on the River: a Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast

The New Press

Discover the books

Meet our 2021 jury.

Michael Ignatieff

Chair of the Jury

Historian, author, university professor and former Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada

"I’m a historian by training and like nothing better than history books that upend our understanding of the present. So it’s a wonderful opportunity to chair this year’s Cundill History Prize and go in search of great history writing that tells a compelling story, is grounded in world-class research and changes our understanding of the contemporary world."

Eric Foner

DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University

"I look forward to educating myself by reading outstanding works covering aspects of history with which I am not familiar, as well as encountering the latest developments in my own areas of expertise. I will be looking for books that contain original historical insights and that are written in a literary style accessible to readers outside the academy, for today, more than ever, an understanding of history is essential to democratic citizenship."

Henrietta Harrison

Professor of Modern Chinese History, Oxford University and Stanley Ho Tutorial Fellow in Chinese History, Pembroke College

"I’m excited to be a juror for the Cundill History Prize because I love reading history books and hope to be inspired by the new ways of writing that I find this summer. To my mind the best history books come from deep immersion in a wide range of original sources over many years, make the past come alive, and also teach us something new about it. We need to learn that the past is more complicated than we often imagine and good history writing not only tells us that but also makes us experience it."

Sunil Khilnani

Professor of History and Politics at Ashoka University, Sonipat

"It’s an exciting time for history writing that speaks to a broad audience and brings unexpected perspectives to our present exigencies, and I’m looking forward to a summer of hard reading and rich conversation about the finest new work in the field."

Jennifer L. Morgan

Professor of History in the department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University

"Serving on the Cundill History Prize jury is an honor. As we grapple with the aftermath of a year of profound unrest and upheaval, it feels particularly crucial to think deeply and critically about what has brought us here. I will look for books that convey both the urgency of engaging with the past and the power of beautiful prose in helping us to do so."



Ceu President And Rector Michael Ignatieff  Image Credit Ceu Daniel Vegel 3 1000


Eric Foner 1000


Henrietta Harrison 1000



Sunil Khilnani 1000

Jennifer L.

Jennifer L Morgan 1000

Camilla Townsend
2020 Winner

Townsend Camilla Author Photo
Townsend Camilla Fifth Sun

The prestigious international Cundill History Prize recognizes and rewards the best history writing
in English.

Administered by McGill University in Montreal, the Cundill History Prize generously rewards the leading historians of our time, with US$75,000 going to the winner, and the two runners up each receiving a Recognition of Excellence Award, together with US$10,000. A distinguished jury is seeking the book that embodies historical scholarship, originality, literary quality and broad appeal. Previous winners include Thomas W. Laqueur, Susan Pedersen, Lisa Jardine, Anne Applebaum, and Diarmaid MacCulloch.


@HistoryExtra Thank you to everyone joining us for 2020 #CundillHistoryPrize winner Camilla Townsend's lecture 'Thi… https://t.co/ltKpMz99bA
The 2021 #CundillLecture is now live! To join the 2020 #CundillHistoryPrize winner Camilla Townsend's lecture 'Thi… https://t.co/loWPXI1GUq
Coming up in ONE HOUR, in partnership with @HistoryExtra: 2020 #CundillHistoryPrize winner Camilla Townsend's… https://t.co/iomtOT2UcS
RT @reviewcanada: The Cundill History Prize Festival kicks off today. Here's our review of 2020 winner Camilla Townsend's "Fifth Sun" (@OxU