Baillie Gifford Prize for Non Fiction

The Baillie Gifford Prize aims to reward the best of non-fiction and is open to authors of any nationality. It covers all non-fiction in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts.

Formerly known as The Samuel Johnson Prize (1999 – 2015) it is the most prestigious non-fiction prize in the UK, worth £30,000.

2018 Baillie Gifford Shortlisted titles

Amateur : A True Story About What Makes a Man - Thomas Page McBee

In this ground-breaking new book, Thomas Page McBee, a trans man, trains to fight in a charity match at Madison Square Garden while struggling to untangle the vexed relationship between masculinity and violence. Through his experience of boxing - learning to get hit, and to hit back; wrestling with the camaraderie of the gym; confronting the betrayals and strength of his own body.

£14.99

£11.45


Chernobyl : History of a Tragedy - Serhii Plokhy

In Chernobyl, Serhii Plokhy recreates these events in all of their drama, telling the stories of the firefighters, scientists, engineers, workers, soldiers, and policemen who found themselves caught in a nuclear Armageddon and succeeded in doing the seemingly impossible: extinguishing the nuclear inferno and putting the reactor to sleep.

£20.00

£15.15


Hello World : How to be Human in the Age of the Machine - Hannah Fry

Who would you rather determined your fate - a human or an algorithm?An algorithm is more consistent and less prone to error of judgement. Yet a human can look you in the eye before passing sentence. Welcome to the age of the algorithm, the story of a not-too-distant future where machines rule supreme, making important decisions - in healthcare, transport, finance, security, what we watch, where we go even who we send to prison.

£18.99

£14.59


Imperial Twilight : The Opium War and the End of China's Last Golden Age - Stephen R. (Author) Platt

When Britain launched its first war on China in 1839, pushed into hostilities by profiteering drug merchants and free-trade interests, it sealed the fate of what had long been seen as the most prosperous and powerful empire in Asia, if not the world. Corruption, popular unrest and dwindling finances had weakened China far more than was commonly understood, and the war would help set in motion the eventual fall of the Qing dynasty - which, in turn, would lead to the rise of nationalism and communism in the twentieth century.

£25.00

£18.45


She Has Her Mother's Laugh : The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity - Carl Zimmer

She Has Her Mother's Laugh presents a profoundly original perspective on what we pass along from generation to generation. Charles Darwin played a crucial part in turning heredity into a scientific question, and yet he failed spectacularly to answer it. The birth of genetics in the early 1900s seemed to do precisely that.

£25.00

£18.69


The Spy and the Traitor : The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War - Ben Macintyre

A thrilling Cold War story about a KGB double agent, by one of Britain's greatest historians. On a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket.

£25.00

£17.85