History academic only British nominee for international book prize.

Posted on 8th October 2018

A University of Chester academic is the only nominated British author on the shortlist of an international book prize – sharing the spotlight with three Pulitzer Prize-winning authors.

Dr Tim Grady
Dr Tim Grady

Dr Tim Grady, who is from Bebington, has written a book about the experience of German Jews in the First World War, which is attracting international attention.

His book A Deadly Legacy: German Jews and the Great War, published by Yale University Press, is down to the last eight shortlisted for the Cundill History Prize, worth US $75,000 (approximately £57,000).

Administered by McGill University in Montreal, Canada, the Prize is awarded annually to the book that embodies historical scholarship, originality, literary quality and broad appeal. Also among the nominees are Pulitzer Prize winners Anne Applebaum, Ron Chernow and David I Kertzer.

The shortlisting was announced at Canada House, London, during the inaugural Festival America.

Dr Grady’s book was also one of only six shortlisted for this year’s Wolfson History Prize, the UK’s foremost accolade for historical publishing.

In A Deadly Legacy: German Jews and the Great War, Dr Grady examines the 100,000 Jewish soldiers who served in the German military (12,000 of whom died), as well as the activities of the Jewish communities at home, which ranged from fundraising and charitable work through to propaganda efforts. The book also explores the devastating aftermath of war, which for Germany meant defeat and revolution. He finds that German Jews, who had so supported their homeland during the conflict, were increasingly marginalised at the war’s end. For Germany’s Jewish communities, the Deadly Legacy was that many Germans started to blame them for the country’s defeat.

Dr Grady, who is a Reader in Modern History at the University of Chester, said: “To be longlisted for an international book prize was exciting enough – to be in the shortlist is amazing news. I’m really pleased to have made it to this point, and to be among such prestigious company. In writing the book, it was a real privilege to piece together the traces of individual lives and to discover their wartime hopes and aspirations. It is these stories that are at the very core of this book. On a personal level, it has been a tremendous honour to have been in the running for two major history prizes this year – and it’s fantastic that this type of history has been recognised in this way.”

Professor Meggen Gondek, Head of the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Chester, added: “The Department is exceptionally proud of Dr Grady’s achievements. The nominations he has received for this book show how excellent and accessible scholarship form the basis of our teaching and research here in the Department of History and Archaeology at the University.”