1997 Longman/History Today Awards

Kit Wedd gives an account of the winners from History Today's 1997 history writing awards.

The 1997 Longman/History Today Awards were given by Roy Porter at a ceremony in the Royal Society, London, on January 6th, 1998. These awards, which are now in their fifth year, aim to encourage new writing in history. The winner of the Book of the Year Award was the naval historian Dr Andrew Gordon, for The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command (John Murray).

Dr Gordon described himself as 'a little dizzy with surprise' at receiving the £1,000 prize from Professor Porter, of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine.

Andrew Gordon’s book, which investigates the Royal Navy’s command-and-control structures in the First World War, analyses their impact on the conduct of the three key figures on the British side at Jutland – Jellicoe, Beatty and Evans-Thomas. It was praised by the judges as highly readable and amazingly detailed, with a microscopic analysis of technology and strategy combined with broader cultural, social and diplomatic themes.

Dr Gordon began his investigation of Jutland following a casual conversation seven years ago. He has a PhD in War Studies and is author of British Sea Power and Procurement Between the Wars, an exploration of naval policy and administration in the 1920s and 1930s. He is a senior lecturer at the Joint Services Command and Staff College in Bracknell.

The Longman/History Today Book of the Year Award, which is given to a first or second book published in the English language, is made in honour of the founder-editor of the magazine, Sir Peter Quennell. More than seventy books were submitted for consideration by the judges, Professors Pamela Tudor-Craig, Jeremy Black and Paul Preston. Their task was made the harder for the great diversity of topic and type of history demonstrated in these titles; but in their comments they stressed the quality of the books.

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