The Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction

DannunzioThis year’s prize has been won by Lucy Hughes-Hallett for her book The Pike (published by Fourth Estate). The £20,000 prize is the most prestigious prize for non-fiction in the UK. The Pike tells the story of Gabriele d’Annunzio an Italian poet who transformed himself into a fascist politician and national hero who helped lay the foundations for the rise of Mussolini.

The other five titles shortlisted for the prize were:

Empires of the Dead: How One Man’s Vision Led to the Creation of WW1’s War Graves by David Crane.

Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan by William Dalrymple, an account of the first Afghan war which began in 1839. This war ranks as one of the most incompetently led British campaigns in history.

A Sting in the Tale a study of bumble bees by Dave Goulson.

Under Another Sky, a journey round Roman Britain by Charlotte Higgins.

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography, Volume One: Not for Turning by Charles Moore.

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