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Military historian shortlisted twice for major international awards

One of the world’s largest history prizes, has shortlisted ‘The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945’ by University of Exeter historian, Professor Richard Overy. The book has also been shortlisted for the Duke of Westminster Medal for Military Literature, run by Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London.

Now in its seventh year, the Cundill Prize in Historical Literature is the world’s most lucrative international award for a nonfiction book; it is worth $75,000 and presented each year by McGill University in Canada. The prize is awarded to an individual who has published a book written in English (or translated to English), and who is considered to have had (or likely to have) a profound literary, social and academic impact in the area of history. Professor Overy’s book was amongst 165 books reviewed and was selected as one of six nominated for the final shortlist.

Professor Overy said: “I'm pleased that the history of bombing during the Second World War has attracted so much attention and honoured to be included in the shortlist. Bombing continues to be used as a military and political instrument and a critical history of the first major offensives will help to put the strategy into perspective.”

The grand prize winner of the 2014 Cundill Prize will be announced at an awards ceremony in Toronto, Canada on 20 November 2014.

Professor Manfredi, who serves as Administrative Chair of the Cundill Prize, said:“The Cundill Prize aims to introduce outstanding history books to the wider public, shining a spotlight on a diverse range of topics that appeal to experts, informed readers, and history buffs.  This year’s shortlist takes us across time and around the globe: the monumental history of the Democratic Republic of Congo; the American Revolution and the fate of the British Empire; the history of the Blitz; the collapse of the Habsburg Empire and the start of WWI; slavery in the Age of Emancipation; and the 1971 atrocities in Bangladesh and the shaping of Asia,”

He added: “Each book is a thorough examination of a time and place, and highlights how history shapes our present understanding of world events.”

The Duke of Westminster's Medal for Military Literature is also a highly competitive award.  RUSI supervise the award which is given to a book by a living author, regardless of nationality, gender or age, which makes a notable and original contribution to the study of international and national security and defence. The winning author will be presented with a Medal and invited to deliver a speech to an invited audience of peers at the Institute’s headquarters in Whitehall later this year.

Professor Overy commented:“Shortlisting for the Cundill Prize and the Duke of Westminster Medal is a welcome indication of the serious interest now being given to the history of air warfare.”

Date: 17 October 2014

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