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The Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2015 longlist

The Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2015 longlist

2015 Prize
Anne Applebaum

Announcing the 2015 longlist 

After months of deliberation, we are delighted to announce the longlist for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2015.

It’s been an exciting few months, during which time our five judges have expertly whittled a list of nearly two hundred books, down to just twelve. With so many thoughtful, well-researched and insightful books in contention, the decision was not an easy one to make.  The books which have made the Samuel Johnson Prize 2015 longlist represent what the judges believe to be the very best of the year’s non-fiction writing, from across a huge variety of genres.

“We didn't plan it this way”, says Chair of Judges Anne Applebaum, “but this year's Samuel Johnson Prize longlist includes pretty much every important non-fiction genre: biography, history, science writing, travel writing, journalism. There's something for everybody here, whatever your tastes.”


The Samuel Johnson Prize 2015 longlist is:

·         Jonathan Bate, Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life (William Collins)

·         Robert Gildea, Fighters in the Shadows: A New History of the French Resistance (Faber & Faber)

·         Robert Macfarlane, Landmarks (Hamish Hamilton)

·         Oliver Morton, The Planet Remade (Granta Books)

·         Mohamedou Ould Slahi, Guantanamo Diary (Canongate)

·         Peter Pomerantsev, Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: Adventures in Modern Russia (Faber & Faber)

·         Bruce Robinson, They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper (4th Estate)

·         Laurence Scott, The Four-Dimensional Human (William Heinemann (PRH))

·         Steve Silberman, Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently (Allen & Unwin)

·         Emma Sky, The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq (Atlantic Books)

·         Tim Snyder, Black Earth (Bodley Head)

·         Samanth Subramanian, This Divided Island (Atlantic Books)


Tell us what you think about the 2015 longlist @SJPrize #SJPrize2015


What happens next?

Join us for the official Short-list announcement, at 1pm on Sunday 11th October at the Royal Festival Hall, on the closing day of the London Literature Festival.   It promises to be a very special event with judges Rana Mitter and Sumit Paul-Choudhury discussing the list with broadcaster Mark Lawson who will chair the event, and a guest appearance from 2014 winner, Helen Macdonald.  For more information, or to buy tickets to the event, please visit

The British Academy will also host a Samuel Johnson Prize shortlist event, chaired by broadcaster Jim Naughtie on Tuesday 27 October 6.30-8pm. Tickets can be booked at

The Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2015 longlist


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