The Wolfson History Prize is awarded annually to promote and recognise outstanding history written for a general audience. First awarded in 1972, it remains a beacon of the best historical writing being produced in the UK, reflecting qualities of both readability and excellence in writing and research. Books are judged on the extent to which they are carefully researched, well-written and accessible to the non-specialist reader.
Across the whole of Nazi-ruled Europe the experience of occupation was sharply varied. Some countries - such as Denmark - were within tight limits allowed to run themselves. Others - such as France - were constrained not only by military occupation but by open collaboration. In a historical moment when Nazi victory seemed permanent and irreversible, the question 'why resist?' was therefore augmented by 'who was the enemy?'. Resistance is an extraordinarily powerful, humane and haunting account of how and why all across Nazi-occupied Europe some people decided to resist the Third Reich. This could range from open partisan warfare in the occupied Soviet Union to dangerous acts of defiance in the Netherlands or Norway. Some of these resistance movements were entirely home-grown, others supported by the Allies. Like no other book, Resistance shows the reader just how difficult such actions were. How could small bands of individuals undertake tasks which could lead not just to their own deaths but those of their families and their entire communities?
Filled with powerful and often little-known stories, Halik Kochanski's major new book is a fascinating examination of the convoluted challenges faced by those prepared to resist the Germans, ordinary people who carried out exceptional acts of defiance and resistance.
- Browns Books Synopsis
A shortlist of six books is announced in spring, followed by one overall winner in early summer. The Wolfson History Prize is the most valuable non-fiction writing prize in the UK, with the winner receiving a total prize of £40,000, and the shortlisted authors receiving £4,000 each.