Arifa Akbar and Ruth Scurr on the 2023 Baillie Gifford Prize Longlist

The Read Smart podcast returns with two of our 2023 judges – Arifa Akbar and Ruth Scurr – delving into the 2023 longlist with our host, Razia Iqbal. Spanning the complex themes of war, memory, revolution and science, this year’s longlist illuminates a myriad of historical topics, bringing to life forgotten stories that address the most urgent concerns for our future.

The 2023 Baillie Gifford Prize Longlist:

Power and Progress: Our Thousand-Year Struggle Over Technology and Prosperity by Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson • Time to Think: The Inside Story of the Collapse of the Tavistock’s Gender Service for Children by Hannah Barnes • Red Memory by Tania Branigan • Revolutionary Spring: Fighting for a New World 1848-1849 by Christopher Clark • Time’s Echo: The Second World War, The Holocaust, and The Music of Remembrance by Jeremy Eichler • The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann • Mr. B: George Balanchine’s Twentieth Century by Jennifer Homans • Beyond the Wall: East Germany, 1949-1990 by Katja Hoyer • All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake by Tiya Miles • The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human by Siddhartha Mukherjee • A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: A Palestine Story by Nathan Thrall • Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World by John Vaillant • Ultra Processed People: Why Do We All Eat Stuff That Isn’t Food … and Why Can’t We Stop? by Chris van Tulleken


The podcast is generously supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation. Follow @BGPrize on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube.

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