Toby Harnden’s anti-war book wins Orwell Prize for political writing
An anti-war book, once pulped by the UK Ministry of Defense, has won the Orwell Prize for political writing by the judges’ unanimous vote.
Dead Men Risen by Toby Harnden is about the death of British officer Lt Colonel Rupert Thorneloe in Afghanistan in 2009.
The book “takes us into the hearts and minds of the Welsh Guards in a way that is both interesting and visceral,” the judges said.
“It challenges every citizen of this country to examine exactly what we’re asking soldiers to do in Afghanistan,” the panel continued.
“Rather than offering easy answers it lets the soldiers speak for themselves.”
The book was published by Quercus in amended form after the MoD bought the entire first print run and destroyed them.
Since the start of the US-led military intervention in Afghanistan in 2001, 412 British service personnel have been killed.
Britain has more than 9,000 troops stationed in the war-torn country.
Founded by Bernard Crick in 1993, the Orwell Prize is considered the pre-eminent British prize for political writing which honors a writer, a journalist and a blogger each year.
Winners are short-listed entries which come closest to English novelist and journalist George Orwell’s own ambition to “make political writing into an art.”
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