Annal: 2001 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography

Results of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in the year 2001.

Book:John Maynard Keynes

John Maynard Keynes: Fighting for Britain, 1937-1946

Robert Skidelsky

The eagerly awaited third, and final, volume of Robert Skidelsky’s definitive and consummate biography of John Maynard Keynes covers the period from 1937, when Keynes had become the world’s most influential economist, to his death in 1946. It focuses on Keynes’s outstanding contribution to the financing of Britain’s war effort, the building of the postwar economic order, and his role in the “other war”—Britain’s struggle to preserve its independence within the Atlantic Alliance. Insightful and intelligent, this is a work that tells the story of one of`the most important and fascinating men of the twentieth century and provides an invaluable overview of matters that remain at the center of political and economic discussion.

Book:Frantz Fanon

Frantz Fanon: A Life

David Macey

David Macey’s Frantz Fanon: A Life is an elegant and extremely accomplished biography of one of the 20th century’s most influential third world thinkers, a black man from the Caribbean who died a member of the Algerian FLN and whose violently eloquent writings inspired self-styled revolutionaries around the world.

Born in Martinique, then as now a departement of France, Frantz Fanon (l925-61) trained as a psychiatrist in Lyons before taking up a post in colonial Algeria. He had already experienced racism as a soldier in the Free French Army, for which he had volunteered and in whose ranks he saw combat during the liberation of France. In Algeria, he came into contact with the Front de Liberation National whose ruthless struggle for an independent Algeria was met with quite exceptional violence by the French Army. Fanon identified completely with the FLN and soon became a marked man. Forced to flee Algeria when he resigned his post, Fanon subsequently…[more]

Book:Hitler: Volume 2. 1936-1945 Nemesis

Hitler: Volume 2. 1936-1945 Nemesis

Ian Kershaw

The most powerful account of Hitler’s domination of the German people through fanaticism, divisiveness, and luck. From his illegitimate birth in a small Austrian village to his fiery death in a bunker under the Reich chancellery in Berlin, Adolf Hitler left a murky trail, strewn with contradictory tales and overgrown with self-created myths. One truth prevails: the sheer scale of the evils that he unleashed on the world has made him a demonic figure without equal in this century.

Ian Kershaw’s Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the character of the bizarre misfit in his thirty-year ascent from a Viennese shelter for the indigent to uncontested rule over the German nation that had tried and rejected democracy in the crippling aftermath of World War I. With extraordinary vividness, Kershaw recreates the settings that made Hitler’s rise possible: the virulent anti-Semitism of prewar Vienna, the crucible of a war with immense casualties, the toxic nationalism that gripped…[more]

Book:Martin Frobisher

Martin Frobisher: Elizabethan Privateer

James McDermott

Adventurous and willful, the swashbuckling Martin Frobisher was both a brave sea-commander who served Elizabeth I with distinction and a privateer who single-mindedly pursued his own interests. This highly entertaining biography provides the first complete picture of the life and exploits of Frobisher—from his voyages in search of the fabled Northwest Passage to his courageous resistance to the Spanish Armada and his exploits as privateer and sometime pirate. The book explores Frobisher’s vigorous personality and its manifestation in the turbulence of his career and his impact on others. It also illuminates the robust world of maritime enterprise in England in the sixteenth century, when the shifting objectives of the Elizabethan age brought together felons, merchants, and great officers of state.

James McDermott, a leading authority on Martin Frobisher and the Northwest Passage, offers a riveting account of the explorer,…[more]

Book:A Past in Hiding

A Past in Hiding: Memory and Survival in Nazi Germany

Mark Roseman

A Past in Hiding is a survivor story and historical investigation that offers new insight into daily life in the Third Reich and the powers and pitfalls of memory. At the outbreak of World War II, Marianne Strauss, the sheltered daughter of well-to-do German Jews, was an ordinary girl, concerned with her studies, friends, and romance. Almost overnight she was transformed into a woman of spirit and defiance, a fighter who, when the Gestapo came for her family, seized the moment and went underground. On the run for two years, Marianne traveled across Nazi Germany with false papers, aided by a remarkable resistance organization, previously unknown and unsung.

Drawing on an astonishing cache of photographs, letters, diaries, and documents, as well as interviews on three continents, historian Mark Roseman reconstructs Marianne’s odyssey and the fortunes of her friends and family, revealing aspects of life…[more]

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