An examination of the evolution of the modern Cuba, the powerful story of a single object handed down through three generations of Black women, and an exploration of how tensions between America, NATO, and Russia transformed geopolitics in the wake of the cold war are among the eight books nominated for the 2022 Cundill History Prize.


The shortlist for Cundill History Prize 2022 was revealed on 22 September at a virtual event hosted by chair of the jury JR McNeill, and jurors Misha Glenny, Martha S Jones, Yasmin Khan, Kenda Mutongi.

What is the Cundill History Prize?

The Cundill History Prize, awarded annually since 2008, is an international prize of US$75,000, that rewards the best history writing in English. Books awarded the annual prize embody "historical scholarship, originality, literary quality and broad appeal". Any historical period or subject is eligible, and translations into English are welcomed. Two runners up will receive $10,000 each.

Cundill History Prize 2022 shortlist

Eight titles have been shortlisted for the 2022 Cundill History Prize. They are:

All That She Carried

By Tiya Miles (Random House)

Aftermath: Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich

By Harald Jähner (Ebury, PRH)

Collapse: The Fall of the Soviet Union

By Vladislav M Zubok (Yale University Press)

Cuba: An American History

By Ada Ferrer (Scribner)

In The Forest of No Joy: The Congo-Océan Railroad and the Tragedy of French Colonialism

By JP Daughton (WW Norton & Company)

Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate

By ME Sarotte (Yale University Press)

The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics

By Mae Ngai (WW Norton & Company)

The Perils of Interpreting

By Henrietta Harrison (Princeton University Press)

When will the Cundill History Prize 2022 finalists and overall winner be announced?

The 2022 finalists will be announced on 20 October 2022, with the winner named as part of the Cundill History Prize Festival on 1 December.

The Cundill History Prize 2022 chair and jurors

The jurors will be reading the 2022 submissions over the summer months, before meeting in a series of video conference calls to deliberate on the longlist, the shortlist of eight, the three finalists and, ultimately, the one winner of the US$75,000 prize, administered by McGill University.

The 2022 prize is chaired by JR McNeill, a historian, author and professor at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Joining McNeill on this year's panel is Misha Glenny, Rector at the Institute for Human Sciences; Martha S Jones, Professor of History at The John Hopkins University; Yasmin Khan, Associate Professor of British History at the University of Oxford; and Kenda Mutongi, Professor of History at MIT

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Who won the Cundill History Prize in previous years?

Marjoleine Kars was named winner of the 2021 Cundill History Prize for Blood on the River: a Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast (The New Press).

The US-based Dutch historian accessed a previously untapped Dutch archive to reveal the little-known story of a 1763 slave rebellion in Berbice, a Dutch colony in present-day Guyana. The event, Kars showed, revises our understanding of the actions of enslaved people at the dawn of the age of revolution.

“It transforms our understanding of two vitally important subjects – slavery and empire – and it tells a story so dramatic, so compelling that no reader will be able to put the book down,” said Michael Ignatieff, 2021 Chair of the Jury. “It was the unanimous choice of our jury.”

The two runners up were Rebecca Clifford for Survivors: Children’s Lives after the Holocaust (Yale University Press) and Marie Favereau for The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World, (Belknap Press of Harvard), and each receive a Recognition of Excellence Award of US$10,000.

Listen: Marjoleine Kars tells the HistoryExtra podcast about a little-known 1763 rebellion by enslaved people in Berbice, in present-day Guyana:

The winner of the 2020 Cundill History Prize was Camilla Townsend's Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs, a new look at the lives of the Aztecs in their own words, and 2019's winner was Maoism: A Global History by Julia Lovell. Lovell followed Harvard Professor Maya Jasanoff (2018), and British historian Daniel Beer (2017). Find out more about the previous winners.


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