John Keegan wins 1999 Westminster medal

John Keegan wins 1999 Westminster medal

John Keegan, 1998 Reith lecturer and Defence Editor of the Daily Telegraph, is the first winner of the 1999 Westminster Medal for military literature for his book The First World War. The medal is awarded by RUSI each year for the best work in the English language which represents a notable and original contribution to the study of international or national security or the military professions.

Keegan receives his medal from the Duke of Westminster at the Institute on 4 May when he will lecture on some of the themes from his book, which is published by Random House, price 25. The book is available at a special discount price under the book scheme at 14 plus 3.50 p&p; and to members for 17 plus 3.50 p&p. The awarding board for 1999 was chaired by Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, former Political Director at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and includes senior historians and military acadmics.

The award was created with the support of the Duke of Westminster, and Keegan was judged the winner from a distinguished shortlist of authors, given below, for a work that the judges considered authoritative, broad in scope and vivid in detail. Written eighty years after the end of the Great War, it is a work that should have wide appeal and lasting value.

Keegan is the author of many books on military history, including the following which are published in paperback by Pimlico: The Face of Battle, Six Armies in Normandy, The Battle for History, The Second World War, and Warpaths. His book of the Reith Lectures, World And Our World, was published by Hutchinson in 1998.

John Keegan was for many years the Senior Lecturer in Military History at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He has been a Fellow of Princeton University and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He received the OBE in the Gulf War Honours list.

In his new book, Keegan fulfils a lifelong ambition to write the `definitive book on the 1914-18 war for our generation’. The battles on land, sea and in the air, form the narrative heart of his study, with some fascinating new interpretations of the military events. But the war also acted as a formidable engine for change throughout the world and the terrible human cost is brilliantly revealed.

The other shortlisted titles, authors and publishers were: Britain’s Army in the Twentieth Centry by Field Marshal The Lord Carver (Macmillan); Cunningham by John Winton (John R Murray); Stalingrad by Anthony Beevor (Viking, Penguin UK); To The Last Man by Lyn Macdonald (Viking, Penguin UK); and Twilight of the West by Dr Christopher Coker (Westview Press).

Copyright Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies Apr/May 1999

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