John Bew wins 2017 Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography

Martin Reed

Martin Reed

Martin leads the SoA's Communications team. He oversees our strategic communications and campaign-based activities, including PR, social media, events and partnerships.

The Society of Authors is delighted to announce that the 2017 Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography has been awarded to John Bew for Citizen Clem: A Biography of Attlee (riverrun/Quercus).

Judges Richard Davenport-Hines, Roy Foster (Chair), Antonia Fraser, Flora Fraser and Munro Price chose Bew’s book, which profiles the reticence of Attlee, public servant and patriotic Socialist, whilst exploring the intellectual foundations and core beliefs of one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century British history.

Roy Foster, Chair of the judges said:

 ‘John Bew’s life of Attlee restores to attention an underestimated figure, masterfully conveying his intellectual formation as well as the social background which he represented, often with surprising forcefulness. Psychologically astute and full of unexpected political insights, Bew’s biography profiles both the world of middle-class socialism in the twentieth century, and its late-Victorian roots. The judges were unanimous in applauding it.’

John Bew teaches History and Foreign Policy at the War Studies Department at King’s College London. He was the winner of the 2015 Philip Leverhulme Prize for outstanding achievement in Politics and International Relations at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. Bew is a contributing writer at the New Statesman and the author of five books, including the critically acclaimed Realpolitik: A History. Bew will be presented with the £5,000 prize at the 2017 Authors’ Awards on 20 June.

The Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography is generously sponsored by Flora Fraser and Peter Soros in memory of acclaimed biographer Elizabeth Longford.

For more information about the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography please visit:

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