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The Baillie Gifford Prize

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 £50,000.

2020 Baillie Gifford Prize Shortlist

Chair of the Judges, Martha Kearney

"In 2020 we certainly learned that truth is stranger than fiction and our shortlist shows the sheer power of real life stories. From brain science to Beatlemania, Shoguns to suburban poltergeists, sex slavery to slave rebellions, this is our eclectic lockdown library."

The Idea of the Brain : A History

Professor Matthew Cobb



2020 Baillie Gifford Prize Longlist

Chair of the Judges, Martha Kearney

Narrowing more than two hundred books down to a long list has been a Herculean task, made even more challenging by the lockdown. [...] The 13-strong list features a diverse list of topics and features two former winners, as well as the youngest ever author in prize history to be longlisted... Read more »