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2011 Long List

2011 Cundill Prize Long List Announced

See press release: 2011 Cundill Prize - World's largest history book award selects top new must-reads

Maya Jasanoff

 Liberty's Exiles:  American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World by Maya Jasanoff (Knopf, distributed by Random House of Canada)

Book Overview:  At the end of the American Revolution, some sixty thousand loyalists—one in forty members of the American population—decided to leave their homes and become refugees elsewhere in the British Empire. They sailed for Britain, for Canada, for Jamaica, and for the Bahamas; some ventured as far as Sierra Leone and India. Wherever they went, the voyage out of America was a fresh beginning, and it carried them into a dynamic if uncertain new world.Yet as they dispersed across the empire, the loyalists also carried things from their former homes, revealing an enduring American influence on the wider British world.  A groundbreaking history of the revolutionary era, Liberty’s Exiles tells the story of this remarkable global diaspora. Through painstaking archival research and vivid storytelling, award-winning historian Maya Jasanoff re-creates the journeys of ordinary individuals whose lives were overturned by extraordinary events.  Ambitious, original, and personality-filled, Liberty’s Exiles is at once an intimate narrative history and a provocative new analysis—a book that explores an unknown dimension of America’s founding to illuminate the meanings of liberty itself.

Maya Jasanoff was educated at Harvard, Cambridge, and Yale, and is currently a professor of history at Harvard University. Her first book, Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750–1850, was awarded the 2005 Duff Cooper Prize and was a book of the year selection in numerous publications including The Economist, The Guardian, and The Sunday Times (London). She has recently been a fellow of the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, and the American Council of Learned Societies and has contributed essays to the London Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, and The New York Review of Books.

 

 

Sergio LuzzattoPadre Pio: Miracles and Politics in a Secular Age by Sergio Luzzatto (Metropolitan Books)

Book Overview:  The first historical appraisal of the astonishing life and times of a controversial twentieth-century saintPadre Pio is one of the world's most beloved holy figures, more popular in Italy than the Virgin Mary and even Jesus. His tomb is the most visited Catholic shrine anywhere, drawing more devotees than Lourdes. His miraculous feats included the ability to fly and to be present in two places at once; an apparition of Padre Pio in midair prevented Allied warplanes from dropping bombs on his hometown. Most notable of all were his stigmata, which provoke heated controversy to this day. Were they truly God-given? A psychosomatic response to extreme devotion? Or, perhaps, the self-inflicted wounds of a charlatan?  Now acclaimed historian Sergio Luzzatto offers a pioneering investigation of this remarkable man and his followers. Neither a worshipful hagiography nor a sensationalist exposé, "Padre Pio" is a nuanced examination of the persistence of mysticism in contemporary society and a striking analysis of the links between Catholicism and twentieth-century politics. Granted unprecedented access to the Vatican archives, Luzzatto has also unearthed a letter from Padre Pio himself in which the monk asks for a secret delivery of carbolic acid —- a discovery which helps explain why two successive popes regarded Padre Pio as a fraud, until pressure from Pio-worshipping pilgrims forced the Vatican to change its views.

A profoundly original tale of wounds and wonder, salvation and swindle, "Padre Pio" explores what it really means to be a saint in our time.

Sergio Luzzato is a professor of modern history at the University of Turin, Italy. He is the author of four works of history, and a regular contributor to the leading Italian dailies La Stampa and Corriere della Sera. He lives in Italy.

 

 

Jeremy PopkinYou Are All Free:  The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery by Jeremy Popkin (Cambridge University Press)

Book Overview:  You Are All Free provides the first complete account of the dramatic events that led to the abolitions of slavery in the French Caribbean colony of Saint-Domingue in 1793 and in revolutionary France in 1794, and also to the destruction of Cap Francais, the richest city in the French Caribbean, and to the first refugee crisis in the United States.

Jeremy Popkin is the T. Marshall Hahn, Jr. Professor of History at the University of Kentucky. He received both my B.A. and Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, having also studied in history at Harvard University. At the University of Kentucky, he teaches courses on French history, European history, and an undergraduate course on the Holocaust. He is the author of several books, including Revolutionary News: The Press in France, 1789–1799 and History, Historians, and Autobiography.

 

 

Ulinka RublackDressing Up: Cultural Identity in Renaissance Europe by Ulinka Rublack (Oxford University Press)

Book Overview:  Dressing Up imagines the Renaissance afresh by considering people’s appearances: what they wore, how this made them move, what images they created, and how all this made people feel about themselves. Ulinka Rublack uses an astonishing array of sources to argue that people’s relationship to appearances and images are essential to understand what it meant to live at this time. Beautifully illustrated, this stunningly original book integrates its findings into larger arguments ab out consumption, visual culture, the Reformation, German history, and the relationship of European and global history, which will re-shape the field.

Ulinka Rublack is a cultural historian of early modern Europe currently teaching at the University of Cambridge. She is a founding member of the Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies, has been a member of three research networks (one of them the five year ESF project on “Cultural Exchange in Early Modern Europe”) as well as a Visiting scholar at the Maison de L’Homme in Paris.

 

 

Timothy SnyderBloodlands:  Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder (Basic Books)

Book Overview:  An account of the atrocities committed in Eastern Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power. Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history.

Timothy Snyder received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1997, where he was a British Marshall Scholar.  He has held fellowships in Paris and Vienna, and an Academy Scholarship at Harvard. He is the author of Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe: A Biography of Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz (Harvard University Press, 1998, Halecki Prize); The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (Yale University Press, 2003, awards from American Historical Association, American Association for Ukrainian Studies, Przeglad Wschodni, and Marie Curie-Sklodowska University); Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist's Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine (Yale University Press, 2005, Pro Historia Polonorum award); The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of A Habsburg Archduke (Basic Books, 2008), and Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (Basic Books, 2010).   He is also the co-editor of Wall Around the West: State Power and Immigration Controls in Europe and North America (Rowman and Littlefield, 2001).  His most recent book is Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, a history of Nazi and Soviet mass killing on the lands between Berlin and Moscow.  A New York Times bestseller and a book of the year according to The Atlantic, The Independent, The Financial Times, the Telegraph, The Economist, History Today, the Seattle Times and the New Statesman. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in modern East European political history.

 

 

Alan TaylorThe Civil War of 1812:  American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels and Indian Allies by Alan Taylor (Alfred A. Knopf)

Book Overview:  In this deeply researched and clearly written book, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Alan Taylor tells the riveting story of a war that redefined North America. During the early nineteenth century, Britons and Americans renewed their struggle over the legacy of the American Revolution. Soldiers, immigrants, settlers, and Indians fought in a northern borderland to determine the fate of a continent. Would revolutionary republicanism sweep the British from Canada? Or would the British empire contain, divide, and ruin the shaky American republic?In a world of double identities, slippery allegiances, and porous boundaries, the leaders of the republic and of the empire struggled to control their own diverse peoples. The border divided Americans—former Loyalists and Patriots—who fought on both sides in the new war, as did native peoples defending their homelands. Serving in both armies, Irish immigrants battled one another, reaping charges of rebellion and treason. And dissident Americans flirted with secession while aiding the British as smugglers and spies.

During the war, both sides struggled to sustain armies in a northern land of immense forests, vast lakes, and stark seasonal swings in the weather. In that environment, many soldiers panicked as they fought their own vivid imaginations, which cast Indians as bloodthirsty savages. After fighting each other to a standstill, the Americans and the British concluded that they could safely share the continent along a border that favored the United States at the expense of Canadians and Indians. Both sides then celebrated victory by forgetting their losses and by betraying the native peoples.

A vivid narrative of an often brutal (and sometimes comic) war that reveals much about the tangled origins of the United States and Canada.

Born and raised in Maine, Alan Taylor is a professor of American and Canadian history at the University of California, Davis. His books include The Divided Ground, Writing Early American History, American Colonies, and William Cooper’s Town, which won the Bancroft and Pulitzer prizes for American history. He also serves as a contributing editor to The New Republic.