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Parliamentary Book Awards 2018 Winners Revealed

Parliamentary Book Awards 2018 Winners Revealed


London. 4 December 2018: Tessa Jowell, Frances D’Souza, Jesse Norman and Isabel Hardman have been announced as the winners of the 2018 Parliamentary Book Awards, the only political book awards curated by bookshops and voted for by parliamentarians.

Tessa Jowell and Frances D’ Souza won Best Memoir by a Parliamentarian for The Power of Politicians, which explores the late Jowell’s career as MP, Cabinet Minister and peer to examine deeper questions about the role of parliamentarians, and what makes a good politician.

Jesse Norman took home the Best Non-Fiction by a Parliamentarian award for his book Adam Smith: What He Thought and Why it Matters, in which Norman discusses the life of economist Adam Smith, and dispels the myths that have grown around his legacy and beliefs.

Journalist Isabel Hardman was awarded Best Political Book by a non-Parliamentarian for her book Why We Get the Wrong Politicians, in which she examines the life of an MP, and asks why the public often end up with politicians with whom they aren’t happy.

Launched by the Booksellers Association and the Publishers Association in 2016, the annual awards champion the best of political writing and celebrate the link between politics and publishing. The shortlist was voted for by UK bookshops, with parliamentarians then voting for the winner in each category.

The awards ceremony was held at the House of Commons this evening, hosted by Dame Margaret Hodge MP and presented by Pippa Crerar, Political Editor at The Daily Mirror.

Meryl Halls, Managing Director of the Booksellers Association, said: “This year’s shortlist was made up of a range of thought-provoking titles for Parliamentarians to choose from, and the winners reflect that, querying our political system and those working within it. With winners as topical and carefully considered as these, the Awards continue to highlight the partnership between politics and booksellers.”

Stephen Lotinga, the Chief Executive of the Publishers Association, said: “At a time when the public’s appetite for political writing is at an all-time high, all three of this year’s winners offer crucial insights into the makeup of Britain’s political class and culture. From Jessie Norman’s recharacterisation of the relevance of Adam Smith’s philosophy, to Tessa Jowell’s reflections on lessons learnt from a lifetime in politics, through to Isabel Hardman’s insights into modern politicians, each of these winning books provide many lessons for the challenges we currently face.”

The winners managed to see off strong competition from a shortlist which included Ruth Davidson’s Yes She Can: Why Women Own The Future, Helena Kennedy’s Eve Was Shamed: How British Justice is Failing Women, and Alan Johnson’s In My Life: A Music Memoir.

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Notes to Editors

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The Parliamentary Book Awards 2018 shortlist:
Best Memoir by a Parliamentarian
  • The Power of Politicians by Tessa Jowell, and Frances D’ Souza, edited and with an introduction by Claire Foster-Gilbert (Haus Publishing (published with the Westminster Abbey Institute))
  • In My Life: A Music Memoir by Alan Johnson (Transworld)
  • Confession of a Recovering MP by Nick de Bois (Biteback)
  • Confessions of a Political Maverick by Austin Mitchell (Biteback)
Best Non-Fiction by a Parliamentarian
  • Equal Power: Gender Equality and How to Achieve It by Jo Swinson (Atlantic)
  • Eve Was Shamed: How British Justice is Failing Women by Helena Kennedy (Random House)
  • Yes She Can: Why Women Own The Future by Ruth Davidson (Hodder)
  • Adam Smith: What He Thought, and Why it Matters by Jesse Norman (Penguin
Best Political Book by a Non-Parliamentarian
  • Poverty Safari: Understanding the Anger of Britain's Underclass by Darren McGarvey (Picador)
  • 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari (Random House)
  • Why We Get The Wrong Politicians by Isabel Hardman (Atlantic)
The Parliamentary Book Awards 2017 winners were:
  • Best Memoir by a Parliamentarian: A Woman’s Work, by Harriet Harman
  • Best Non-Fiction by a Parliamentarian: How to Stop Brexit (And Make Britain Great Again), by Nick Clegg
  • Best Political Book by a non-Parliamentarian: Jo Cox: More in Common by Brendan Cox


The Parliamentary Book Awards 2016 winners were:


  • Best Memoir by a Parliamentarian: The Long Winding Road, by Alan Johnson
  • Best Non-Fiction by a Parliamentarian: Called to Account, by Margaret Hodge
  • Best Fiction by a Parliamentarian: Now is the Time, by Melvyn Bragg
  • Best Political Book by a non-Parliamentarian: Citizen Clem by John Bew


About The Booksellers Association (BA)


The Booksellers Association is a membership organization for all booksellers in the UK & Ireland. It represents over 95% of specialist booksellers selling new books. The BA exists to support, advise and work with its members to create excellent products for booksellers. These range from National Book Tokens, a gift card which drives footfall and keeps gift spending in the book trade; Batch, the award-winning payments service, which saves time, money and hassle when settling invoices and organising returns; a full range of money-saving affinity deals; a free Business Support Helpline; and a whole range of tailored promotional campaign work, including Bookshop Day, Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, World Book Day, the Christmas Books catalogue and Independent Bookshop Week.


About the Publishers Association


The Publishers Association (the PA) represents book, journal, audio and digital publishers in the UK, spanning fiction and non-fiction, academic and education publishing. UK publishing has a turnover of £5.7bn, with export income accounting for 60% of revenues. Our membership includes global companies such as Elsevier, Wiley, Pearson, Penguin Random House, Hachette and the University presses, as well as many independent publishing houses. Our objective as an association is to provide our members with the influence, insight and support necessary to compete and prosper.| @PublishersAssoc