London School of Economics and Political Science: LSE expert shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2022

Professor Marc David Baer is one of the six historians on this year’s prestigious Wolfson History Prize shortlist.

The Wolfson History Prize, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, showcases the best accessible historical non-fiction titles from the previous year.

Professor Marc David Baer, of the LSE Department of International History, was nominated for The Ottomans: Khans, Caesars and Caliphs. This account of the Ottoman dynasty charts its remarkable rise from a frontier principality to a world empire. Professor Marc David Baer reflects on how the multilingual, multireligious, and multiethnic Ottoman Empire managed to hold swathes of Europe for seven centuries, and how religious tolerance and cultural innovation shaped the landscape of East and West through to the present day.

Of his nomination, Professor Marc David Baer said: “I am truly delighted to have been shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2022. I am pleased to be in the company of so many historians who are as great at researching history as they are at writing it.”

The six shortlisted titles cover a range of socio-political themes. Several of the titles, including The Ottomans: Khans, Caesars and Caliphs, touch on the importance of religion throughout the centuries, discussing the wider implications of faith on retellings of our collective history.

The books shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2022 are:

The Ottomans: Khans, Caesars and Caliphs by Marc David Baer (Basic Books)
The Ruin of All Witches: Life and Death in the New World by Malcolm Gaskill (Allen Lane)
Devil-Land: England Under Siege, 1588-1688 by Clare Jackson (Allen Lane)
Going to Church in Medieval England by Nicholas Orme (Yale University Press)
God: An Anatomy by Francesca Stavrakopoulou (Picador)
Fallen Idols: Twelve Statues That Made History by Alex von Tunzelmann (Headline)
The Wolfson History Prize 2022 shortlisted authors will discuss their books and historical writing in a special edition of BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking in June.

The winner of the Wolfson History Prize 2022 will be announced on Wednesday 22 June 2022 in a ceremony at the Wallace Collection in London.

Chair of the judges, David Cannadine, commented: “This year’s Wolfson History Prize shortlist once again showcases the diversity and vigour of history writing in the UK. The judges were impressed by the variety, originality, and quality of research demonstrated by the six shortlisted books. As well as being engaging reads, they are all highly deserving of a place in the eminent roll call of authors celebrated by the prize over the past fifty years.”

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation, which awards the prize, said of the shortlist: “We are delighted to announce the shortlist for the Wolfson History Prize 2022, reflecting the very best historical writing in the UK today. This year marks fifty years of the Wolfson History Prize and its mission – to champion the importance of high-quality, accessible history writing – is as critical now as it has ever been. This past year has revealed much about how history can be valued, contested and re-evaluated. It has also revealed why it is vital for us to engage carefully and thoughtfully with the experiences of those who came before us: a reminder of the importance of history to our lives.

Whether or not you agree with their arguments, these six books will inspire and provoke. They offer the opportunity to learn more about what mattered to previous societies and to reflect on the significance of the past to current concerns and debates. The books shortlisted this year demonstrate that turbulent times are nothing new and show how different societies have dealt with such challenges.”

Comments are closed.