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.