The 2020 Shortlist

Roderick Beaton
Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation

Vincent Brown
Tacky’s Revolt: the Story of an Atlantic Slave War

William Dalrymple
The Anarchy: the Relentless Rise of the East India Company

Richard M. Eaton
India in the Persianate Age: 1000-1765

Kim Ghattas
Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Rivalry that Unravelled the Middle East

Kerri Greenidge
Black Radical: the Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter

Rashid Khalidi
The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: a History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017

Paul Lay
Providence Lost: the Rise and Fall of Cromwell’s Protectorate

Claudio Saunt
Unworthy Republic: the Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory

Camilla Townsend
Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs

Beaton Roderick Greece
Brown Vincent Tacky S Revolt
Dalrymple William The Anarchy
Eaton Richard India In The Persianate Age
Ghattas Kim Black Wave
Greenidge Kerri Black Radical
Khalidi Rashid The Hundred Years  War On Palestine
Lay Paul Providence Lost
Sant Claudio Unworthy Republic
Townsend Camilla Fifth Sun

2020 Season Calendar

Finalists Announcement
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
1 p.m. EST / 6 p.m. BST

The Cundill History Prize Festival
Late November

With two full days of Cundill History Prize events including:

The Cundill Lecture in History
delivered by 2019 winner Julia Lovell

The 2020 Winner Announcement

and more to come!

The 2020 Cundill History Prize is being brought to you in partnership with:

Peter Frankopan
Anne Applebaum
Lyse Doucet
Eliga Gould
Sujit Sivasundaram

2020 Jury

The Cundill History Prize is steering through one of the most challenging moments in recent world history with an exceptional international jury of prize-winning historians and journalists.

Announcing the 2020 panel, Antonia Maioni, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at McGill University, said: “The function of the Cundill History Prize to champion the world’s best history writing as a way to better understand the present and to start mapping a future is perhaps more important than ever right now.” Read more.

“This has been an extraordinary year for history writing, with some truly exceptional books that have changed how we look at the past. As we’ve all been learning during lockdown, making sense of the world around us has never been more important. I’m very excited by the outstanding panel that have agreed to judge the Cundill Prize this year – and to working with them to find the voices and ideas that have shown again why the study of history is so important.”

Peter Frankopan

Peter Frankopan
Anne Applebaum
Lyse Doucet
Eliga Gould
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Julia Lovell
2019 Winner

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.

2020 Jury

Find out more about the eminent historians judging the 2018 Cundill History Prize here.


Find videos, interviews and media coverage highlights in our new Media section.


Cundill History Prize 2020 juror @anneapplebaum on Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation by Roderick Beaton (… https://t.co/rwyVJ0yN9i
"No visitor to Greece should leave home without [this book]." Sean McMeekin in @Lit_Review on Beaton's "scholarly… https://t.co/XofuZpq19M
And what does it mean, to write the "life" of such an idea? @wsj found that "Mr Beaton's biographical conceit keeps… https://t.co/SNeT10FR5E
"The central theme is: how does modern Greece reconcile its idea of a “nation”, based on language and ethnicity (“e… https://t.co/lRsRE0t2lB