The Cundill History Prize
The Cundill History Prize logo.svg
Awarded forhistory writing
Presented byMcGill University
First awarded2008 (2008)

The Cundill History Prize (formerly the Cundill Prize in Historical Literature[1]) was founded in 2008 by Peter Cundill to recognize and promote literary and academic achievement in history. The prize is presented annually to an author who has published a non-fiction book in the prior year that is likely to have profound literary, social, and academic impact in the area of history. At a value of US$75,000, the Grand Prize is claimed to be the richest non-fiction historical literature prize in the world.[2][3] In addition, two "Recognition of Excellence" prizes of US$10,000 each are awarded.[3] The winners of the prizes are selected by an independent jury of at least five internationally qualified individuals selected by McGill University. The Cundill Prize in History at McGill is administered by McGill University's Dean of Arts, with the help of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC).[3]

When the Prize was announced in April 2008, Mr. Cundill noted that he "…was surprised to learn there were no major prizes in history." He explained his affinity to history: "I am an investment researcher of finance and I think there is an analogy between the two disciplines – both study the past to understand the present and predict the future."[4]


Year Grand Prize Recognition of Excellence Prizes Jury Members
2008 Stuart B. Schwartz All Can Be Saved: Religious Tolerance and Salvation in the Iberian Atlantic World Harold J. Cook Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age Timothy Aitken, Roger Chartier, Denise Chong, Natalie Zemon Davis, Serge Joyal, and Angela Schottenhammer
Peter Fritzsche Life and Death in the Third Reich
2009 Lisa Jardine Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland's Glory David Hackett Fischer Champlain's Dream Timothy Aitken, Roger Chartier, Denise Chong, Serge Joyal, Angela Schottenhammer and Ken Whyte
Pekka Hämäläinen The Comanche Empire
2010 Diarmaid MacCulloch[3] A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years Giancarlo Casale The Ottoman Age of Exploration Adam Gopnik, Catherine Desbarats, Lisa Jardine, Charles Kesler, Kenneth Whyte
Marla Miller Betsy Ross and the Making of America
2011 Sergio Luzzatto[5] Padre Pio: Miracles and Politics in a Secular Age Timothy Snyder Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin Garvin Brown, Charles R. Kesler, Vanessa Ruth Schwartz, Jeffrey Simpson
Maya Jasanoff Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World
2012 Stephen Platt[6] Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, The West, and The Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War Steven Pinker The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence in History and Its Causes Garvin Brown, Charles R. Kesler, Vanessa Schwartz, Jeffrey Simpson
Andrew Preston Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy
2013 Anne Applebaum[7] Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956 Christopher Clark The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went To War In 1914 Garvin Brown, Anthony Cary, Sergio Luzzatto, Marla R. Miller, Thomas H. B. Symons
Fredrik Logevall Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam
2014 Gary J. Bass[8] The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide Richard Overy The Bombing War: Europe 1939-45 David Frum, Marla R. Miller, Stuart Schwartz, Thomas H.B. Symons, Althia Raj
David Van Reybrouck Congo: The Epic History of a People
2015 Susan Pedersen[9] The Guardians: The League of Nations and the crisis of Empire Sven Beckert Empire of Cotton: A Global History Anthony Cary, David Frum, Chad Gaffield, Maya Jasanoff, Anna Porter
Bettina Stangneth Eichmann before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer (translation by Dr. Ruth Martin)
2016 Thomas Laqueur[10] The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains David Wootton The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution Anna Porter, David Frum, John Darwin, Timothy James Brook
Andrea Wulf The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt's New World
2017 Daniel Beer[11] The House of the Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars Christopher Goscha Vietnam: A New History Margaret MacMillan, Amanda Foreman, Roy Foster, Rana Mitter, Jeffrey Simpson
Walter Scheidel The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century
2018 Maya Jasanoff[12] The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World Caroline Fraser Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder Mark Gilbert (chair), Carol Berkin, Caroline Elkins, Peter Frankopan, Jeffrey Simpson
Sam White A Cold Welcome: The Little Ice Age and Europe’s Encounter with North America
2019 Julia Lovell[13] Maoism: A Global History Mary Fullbrook Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi Persecution and the Quest for Justice Alan Taylor (chair), Charlotte Gray, Robert Gerwarth, Jane Kamensky, Rana Mitter
Jill Lepore These Truths: A History of the United States
2020 Camilla Townsend[14] Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs Vincent Brown[15] Tacky's Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War Peter Frankopan (chair), Anne Applebaum, Lyse Doucet, Eliga Gould and Sujit Sivasundaram[16]
William Dalrymple[15] The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company
2021 Marjoleine Kars[17] Blood on the River: a Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast Rebecca Clifford[18] Survivors: Children’s Lives after the Holocaust Michael Ignatieff (chair), Eric Foner, Henrietta Harrison, Sunil Khilnani and Jennifer L. Morgan
Marie Favereau[18] The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World
2022 Tiya Miles[19] All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake Ada Ferrer


Cuba: An American History J. R. McNeill (chair), Misha Glenny, Martha S. Jones, Yasmin Khan, Kenda Mutongi[21]
Vladislav Zubok[20] Collapse: The Fall of the Soviet Union

See also


  1. ^ Robertson, Becky (19 May 2017). "Cundill Prize rebrands for its 10th anniversary". The Quill and Quire. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Former Montrealer sets up $75,000 prize for history writing". Archived from the original on 2008-04-21.
  3. ^ a b c d "British professor wins Cundill literary prize". CBC. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  4. ^ "Largest literary prize in history makes history | Channels - McGill University". 2022-09-29. Archived from the original on 2022-09-29. Retrieved 2022-09-29.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ Mark Medley (November 14, 2011). "Sergio Luzzatto wins 2011 Cundill Prize in History". National Post. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
  6. ^ Press Release (10 December 2012). "Stephen Platt wins 2012 Cundill Prize at McGill". McGill University. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  7. ^ Press Release (21 November 2013). "Ann Applebaum wins 2013 Cundill Prize". McGill University. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  8. ^ Mark Medley (November 21, 2014). "Gary Bass wins Cundill Prize in Historical Literature". The Globe and Mail.
  9. ^ Press Release (November 2, 2015). "2015 Cundill Prize Winner". McGill University. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  10. ^ "The Work of the Dead wins Cundill Prize in Historical Literature". McGill University. November 18, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  11. ^ Van Koeverden, Jane (November 17, 2017). "Daniel Beer wins $75K US history writing prize for The House of the Dead". Retrieved November 25, 2017.
  12. ^ "Walking in Joseph Conrad's footsteps, Maya Jasanoff Wins 2018 Cundill History Prize". McGill. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  13. ^ "British scholar Julia Lovell wins McGill-run history prize for book on Maoism". Retrieved 2019-11-15.
  14. ^ "Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs wins Cundill History Prize". 3 December 2020. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  15. ^ a b "US$75k Cundill History Prize 2020 finalists announced". Books and Publishing. 2020-10-21. Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  16. ^ "Jury". Cundill Prize. 2020-10-20. Archived from the original on 2014-11-30. Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  17. ^ Design, Here (2021-12-02). "Marjoleine Kars wins 2021 Cundill History Prize for…". Cundill Prize. Retrieved 2021-12-03.
  18. ^ a b Bayley, Sian (2021-10-20). "Clifford, Favereau and Kars named $75k Cundill History Prize finalists". The Bookseller. Archived from the original on 2021-10-20. Retrieved 2021-10-21.
  19. ^ "'All That She Carried' wins 2022 Cundill History Prize". Books+Publishing. 2022-12-02. Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  20. ^ a b Design, Here (2022-10-20). "The Cundill History Prize". Cundill Prize. Retrieved 2022-10-20.
  21. ^ Anderson, Porter (2022-06-08). "In Canada, the $75,000 Cundill History Prize Names Its Jury". Publishing Perspectives. Retrieved 2022-10-20.