This year’s Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History has been awarded to The Information by James Gleick (published by Fourth Estate). The book was described by the judges as ‘bold and arresting’.
This prize of £3,000 is awarded annually for a work of popular history. This year’s judges were Bryan Ward-Perkins (chair), Amanda Foreman and Caroline Moorehead.
The Judging Committee said: ‘The judges were overwhelmed by the excellence of the books submitted for this year’s Hessell-Tiltman History Prize. But in James Gleick’s book, The Information, we found something quite remarkable and were struck again and again by the way that his book stayed in the mind. Gleick has absorbed a vast array of very different material and digested it to produce a coherent and highly original narrative. This is a bold and arresting book and a worthy winner.’
Jonathan Heawood, Director of English PEN said: ‘The use and abuse of information in today’s globalised communications industry is currently stretching our understanding of free expression, so James Gleick’s comprehensive study of this fascinating subject is a fitting winner for one of English PEN’s major prizes.’
The other shortlisted titles were:
• Lizzie Collingham The Taste of War (Allen Lane)
• Norman Davies Vanished Kingdoms (Allen Lane)
• David Edgerton Britain’s War Machine (Allen Lane)
• Edward J Larson An Empire of Ice (Yale)
• Adam Hochschild To End All Wars (Macmillan)
• Anna Reid Leningrad (Bloomsbury)
The prize will be awarded at 4pm on Tuesday 17 April, as part of the English PEN Literary Café programme at the 2012 London Book Fair.