Julia Lovell’s Maoism: A Global History has been awarded the 2019 Cundill History Prize, which rewards the best history writing in English.
“Maoism is a revelation,” said Pulitzer-prize winning historian Alan Taylor, who chairs the prize. “Julia Lovell’s book will dazzle readers with lucid and vivid insights into the power of a protean, and often deadly, ideology – and its enduring impact on our world today. She has written an exceptional work of history.”
The final winner of the prize was announced at a gala at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on 14 November.
Lovell follows Harvard Professor Maya Jasanoff (2018), and British historian Daniel Beer (2017), in winning the prize, which recognises works that “embody historical scholarship, originality, literary quality and broad appeal”.
The three finalists for this year’s prize were: Mary Fulbrook’s Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi Persecution and the Quest of Justice; Jill Lepore’s These Truths: A History of the United States; and Julia Lovell’s Maoism: A Global History. Fulbrook and Lepore were both awarded $10,000 for their place in the final, both runners up appeared on the HistoryExtra podcast earlier this year:
Maya Jasanoff took the prize in 2018 for her account of the Polish-born British writer Joseph Conrad, and delivered the annual Cundill History Prize lecture earlier this week at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
An interview with Julia Lovell will appear on an episode of the HistoryExtra podcast next week.
Find out more about the 2019 Cundill History Prize finalists below:
Mary Fulbrook, professor of German History at UCL, explores the lives of both the victims and the perpetrators of the Holocaust in Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi Persecution and the Quest of Justice, winner of this year’s Wolfson History Prize. | Oxford University Press (UK, US)
With These Truths: A History of the United States, Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore delivers an ambitious one-volume history of the US that places truth itself – a devotion to facts, proof, and evidence – at the centre of the nation’s history. | W. W. Norton & Company (US)
From the tea plantations of north India to the sierras of the Andes, from Paris’s fifth arrondissement to the fields of Tanzania, Julia Lovell, professor of Modern China at Birkbeck College, University of London, re-evaluates Maoism as both a Chinese and an international force, in Maoism: A Global History. | The Bodley Head (UK), Knopf (US)
HistoryExtra is the media partner for the Cundill History Prize this year.
Endowed by F. Peter Cundill , a distinguished McGill alumnus, philanthropist, and renowned global investor, the Cundill History Prize is open to books from anywhere in the world, regardless of the author’s nationality or place of residence, as well as works translated into English. Almost 400 titles are submitted by international trade and university publishers every year.