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Samuel Johnson Prize: Wikis


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The Samuel Johnson Prize is one of the most prestigious[1][2] prizes for non-fiction writing. It was founded in 1999 following the demise of the NCR Book Award and based on an anonymous donation. The prize is named after Samuel Johnson.

From its inception until 2008 the award was fully named "The BBC FOUR Samuel Johnson Prize" and managed by BBC Four. In 2009 it was renamed as "BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction"[3] and managed by BBC Two. The new name "reflects the BBC’s commitment to broadcasting coverage of the Prize on BBC 2, The Culture Show.[3] Prior to the name change in 2009, the monetary prize amount was £30,000 for the winner, and each finalist received £2500. In 2009 the monetary prize is £20,000 for the winner, and each finalist receives £1000.[3].



The 2009 winner was Philip Hoare: Leviathan

The longlist was announced 14 May 2009.[4] 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 other books on the shortlist were:

The monetary prize for 2009 is £20,000 for the winner, and each finalist receives £1000.[3].


The 2008 winner was Kate Summerscale for The Suspicions of Mr Whicher Or The Murder at Road Hill House (about the Constance Kent case).

Other books on the 2008 shortlist were:


The 2007 winner was Rajiv Chandrasekaran for Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone

The other books on the 2007 shortlist were:

  • Ian Buruma: Murder in Amsterdam
  • Peter Hennessey: Having it so Good: Britain in the Fifties
  • Georgina Howell: Daughter of the Desert
  • Dominic Streatfeild: Brainwash
  • Adrian Tinniswood: The Verneys


The 2006 winner was James S. Shapiro for 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

The shortlist was:


The 2005 winner was Jonathan Coe for Like A Fiery Elephant: The Story of B. S. Johnson

The shortlist was:


The 2004 winner was Anna Funder for Stasiland

The shortlist was:


The 2003 winner was T.J. Binyon for Pushkin

The shortlist was:


The 2002 winner was Margaret MacMillan for Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War

The shortlist was:

  • Eamon Duffy, The Voices of Morebath
  • 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
  • Brendan Simms, Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia


The 2001 winner was Michael Burleigh for The Third Reich

The shortlist was:


The 2000 winner was David Cairns for Berlioz: Volume 2

The shortlist was:


The 1999 winner was Antony Beevor for Stalingrad

The shortlist was:

See also


  1. ^ "Science dominates Samuel Johnson prize longlist", The Guardian, 14 May 2009. "..the UK's most prestigious non-fiction award.."
  2. ^ About the prize, Samuel Johnson Prize official website. "The UK’s most Prestigious non-fiction award".
  3. ^ a b c d The 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, 17 April 2009
  4. ^ 2009 Longlist

External links



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