Prize Historians

By Furtado, Peter | History Today, January 2004 | Go to article overview

Prize Historians


Furtado, Peter, History Today


THE END OF THE YEAR marks the announcement of several major prizes for history. The largest of these went to veteran Eric Hobsbawm, who in November was awarded the Balzan prize for his work on European history since 1900.

The prize money is worth one million Swiss francs (approximately 400,000 [pound sterling]) but is given on the condition that at least half is allocated to research projects involving young researchers. Professor Hobsbawm is praised by the prize committee 'for his brilliant analysis of the troubled history of the twentieth century in Europe.'

The International Balzan Foundation fosters--regardless of nationality, race and religion--outstanding achievements worldwide in the humanities, natural sciences, and culture, as well as humanitarian endeavours for peace and the brotherhood of man. The foundation is named after Eugenio Balzan (1874-1953), Italian journalist, businessman co-owner of the Milan-based newspaper Corriere della Sera, and Iris daughter Angela Lina Balzan (1892-1956).

The British Academy shortlist for the hook of the year was again dominated by historians. The winner was Elizabeth Cowling, Reader in History of Art, Edinburgh University, for her Picasso: Style and Meaning (Phaidon). Her book was praised by Dame Gillian Beer, chairman of the judges, as 'enabling us for the first rime to see the main phases of Picasso's early and middle career not as a series of abrupt and brilliant initiatives, but as consistent search for "Style and Meaning" informed by a constant recourse to the great works of the past'. The other shortlisted titles were: Timothy Blanning The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture (Oxford University Press); Janet Browne Charles Darwin Volume II. …

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