Siddhartha Deb’s look at “new India” in The Beautiful and the Damned, had a chapter cut out of it before it was published in India. The full story was published, however, in the US and UK, and Rahim describes it as “utterly in the spirit of Orwell’s own reporting”.
The Orwell Prize was founded in 1993 by Bernard Crick who decided to use royalties from George Orwell’s biography to award a book which came closest to living up to the Animal Farm writer’s goal to “make political writing into art.” Last year’s award was given posthumously to British jurist and human rights expert Thomas Bingham, which was described as a clear guide to law made accessible to lay people.
As well as the book award, the Orwell Prize also honours an outstanding work of political journalism and - for the last three years - an online blog.
The shortlisted books
The Beautiful and the Damned by Siddhartha Deb
The Opium War by Julia Lovell
Dead Men Risen by Toby Harnden
Unfair Trade by Conor Woodman
Dark Market by Misha Glenny
Hood Rat by Gavin Knight