Nicholas Stargardt’s The German War wins PEN Hessell Tiltman Prize 2016
History prize awarded to ‘elegant and eloquent’ account of ordinary people who lived through Hitler’s Germany
Stargardt spent ten years writing the book
Special English PEN event ‘How to write a prize-winning history book’ to be held at the Cambridge Literary Festival on 10 April 2016
Tickets available via Cambridge Literary Festival website
English PEN today announces that the PEN Hessell Tiltman Prize for History 2016 is awarded to Nicholas Stargardt for his book The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939-45, published by Bodley Head.
The prize, endowed by former PEN member Marjorie Hessell Tiltman’s bequest, celebrates the best non-fiction on a historical subject in any period up to and including the 1960s. The winner receives a cheque for £2,000.
Stargardt was shortlisted alongside Mary Beard, Peter Frankopan, Sarah Helm, Raghu Karnad and James Shapiro.
The judging panel for the Hessell Tiltman Prize was this year chaired by Lara Feigel, Senior Lecturer in English at Kings College London. Feigel was joined on the panel by two former winners of the prize: Jessie Childs and David Reynolds.
Lara Feigel said:
It was almost impossible to choose between six such brilliant books, especially given their very different strengths, but we are delighted with our winner. Nicholas Stargardt’s The German War is a bold attempt to understand why and how the German people supported Hitler’s war for as long as they did. It expertly combines analysis of the bigger picture with a more intimate focus on the experiences of a diverse selection of individuals. And it fulfils the aims of the PEN Hessell Tiltman Prize in blending this all into an elegant and eloquent whole.
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