Christopher Hitchens, who died in 2011, is nominated for the Orwell Prize
Christopher Hitchens is one of 18 authors who have been nominated for the 2012 Orwell Prize.
The late writer will be a strong favourite in his field with his collection of essays Arguably, while 12 journalists and 18 bloggers have also made the long list.
The prestigious award aims to recognise those talents who ‘make political writing into an art’, the ideal cherished by Orwell himself.
The winner in each category will receive £3000 and a plaque bearing the quote when the judge’s decision is announced in May.
The prize enjoyed an unusual level of attention over the past 12 months when its 2008 winner, the former Independent columnist Johan Harri, was forced to surrender his award after admitting to plagiarism.
Director of the Prize Jean Seaton said that award attracted record numbers of entries, providing a “testimony to the enduring appeal of Orwell’s clear-eyed radicalism.”
“The books range widely, teasing out national and international political themes, and the blogs continue to evolve and increase in range," she said.
“As for the press, despite challenges to its finances and its trustworthiness it has had an outstanding year.”
She added that the only disappointment was that “very few” ethnic minority journalists entered or were entered for the prize.
“British journalism as a whole needs to become diverse,” she added.
The longlisted books:
Rodric Braithwaite Afgansty (Profile Books)
Sherard Cowper-Cowles Cables from Kabul: The Inside Story of the West’s Afghanistan Campaign (HarperPress)
Siddhartha Deb The Beautiful and the Damned: A portrait of the New India (Penguin)
Misha Glenny Dark Market: CyberThieves, CyberCops and You (Vintage)
Robin Harris The Conservatives: A History (Transworld Publishers)
Toby Harnden Dead Men Risen (Quercus)
Christopher Hitchens Arguably (Atlantic books)
Gavin Knight Hood Rat (Picador)
Anatol Lieven Pakistan: A hard country (Penguin)
Richard Lloyd Parry People Who Eat Darkness: The Fate of Lucie Blackman (Jonathan Cape)
Julia Lovell The Opium War (Pan Macmillan)
Caroline Moorehead A Train in Winter: A Story of Resistance, Friendship and Survival (Vintage)
Douglas Murray Bloody Sunday: Truths, Lies and The Saville Inquiry (Biteback publishing)
Sonia Purnell Just Boris: The Irresistible Rise of a Political Celebrity
Jeffrey Sachs The Price of Civilization (Vintage)
Lucy Siegle To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World (Fourth Estate)
Christopher Turner Adventures in the Orgasmatron: Wilhelm Reich and the Invention of Sex (Fourth Estate)
Conor Woodman Unfair Trade (Hutchinson)
The longlisted journalists:
Camilla Cavendish The Times
Edward Docx Prospect Magazine; The Guardian
Daniel Finkelstein The Times
Amelia Gentleman The Guardian
Simon Kuper Financial Times
Paul Lewis The Guardian; Twitter
Peter Oborne Daily Telegraph; The Spectator; Channel 4 Dispatches