Posts tagged: Royal Historical Society

Salford Historian Dr Brian Hall Wins Top National Prize

Dr Brian Hall, Lecturer in Contemporary Military and International History, has been awarded the ‘Whitfield Prize for 2018’ for the best first book on British or Irish History by the Royal Historical Society. The award was made in London during this summer, Friday, 6 July, when Brian was presented with the prize by the Society’s President, Prof Margot Finn.

His book, Communications and British Operations on the Western Front, 1914-1918, published last year by Cambridge University Press, came out on top in a strong field of seven monographs which were shortlisted for the prize. The Whitfield Prize is awarded for books which are original works of scholarship, they must be the author’s first work, published in English, and by an author who received their doctoral degree from a British or Irish university. Brian’s book was chosen from a shortlist of works by authors who received their PhDs from, among other institutions, the universities of Newcastle, Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham and Queen’s Belfast.

Dr Brian Hall Receives his Prize from Prof Margot Finn

 

According to the judges: “Communications and British Operations on the Western Front, 1914-1918 is a landmark of First World War scholarship. Drawing on an impressive range of primary sources, the book is a compelling piece of historical exposition. It draws attention to an aspect of warfare that is vitally important and yet curiously neglected in the existing literature – the extent to which the participants know what is going on, and the methods they use to try to find out. A wide range of historians will be obliged to take note of this book’s lessons.”

Alaric Searle, Research Lead for Politics and Contemporary History, and Professor of Modern European History in the School of Arts and Media, commented: “This award is a fantastic accolade for Brian. This prize has been awarded continuously since 1977 and no former PhD student from Salford, or member of staff, has ever won it before. Furthermore, it is has been rare for authors of books on twentieth-century history to win; and, as if this was not enough, this is the first time that a straight work of military history has ever won.

And he added: “Thus, this prize has seen several ‘firsts’ for Salford, not least of all as Brian’s colleague Dan Lomas was also short-listed for the prize. As Brian completed all his degrees in Salford (as did Dan), this is very much a ‘made-in-Salford’ story.”

The Whitfield Prize for History, together with the Gladstone Prize for the best book on a topic not primarily related to British History, are two of the most prestigious early career awards in Britain and Ireland, carrying particular weight due to the central role of the Royal Historical Society in representing the views of academic historians in the UK. The award of the Whitfield Prize to Brian also sees him win in the 150th Anniversary Year of the Society.

 


TWO SALFORD HISTORIANS SHORT-LISTED FOR PRESTIGIOUS WHITFIELD PRIZE

Two members of staff from the Directorate of Journalism, Politics and Contemporary History, School of Arts and Media, have been shortlisted for the prestigious Whitfield Prize for 2018, awarded annually by the Royal Historical Society for the best first monograph on either British or Irish history. Dr Dan Lomas, Lecturer in International History, and Dr Brian Hall, Lecturer in Contemporary Military History, have both been selected by the jury for the shortlist. Dr Lomas’ book, entitled Intelligence, Security and the Attlee Governments, 1945–1951: An Uneasy Relationship? was published by Manchester University Press, while Dr Hall’s book, Communications and British Operations on the Western Front, 1914-1918, was published by Cambridge University Press.

Alaric Searle, Professor of Modern European History, and Research Lead for Politics and Contemporary History, said, “I am delighted for both Brian and Dan, not just because they are excellent colleagues but also because they are developing into equally excellent historians in their own right. ”

 

        

 

To be eligible for the Whitfield Prize, a book must be the author’s first published work, on a subject of British or Irish history, and the author must have received his/her PhD from a British or Irish university. The other authors shortlisted received their doctorates from the universities of Oxford, Royal Holloway, King’s College London, Queen’s Belfast and Birmingham. As Alaric noted: “What makes this recognition all the more noteworthy is that both Dan and Brian received their PhDs from the University of Salford; and, Salford has never had either a member of staff, or a former Salford PhD student, shortlisted for this award. Thus, to have two nominations in the same year is a great achievement. It provides just one more indicator of the quality of research being conducted in Politics and Contemporary History at the moment.”

He added: “I am not that surprised about the nomination as I know the quality of work both Dan and Brian have been publishing. In fact, Brian’s book was shortlisted earlier this year for the Templar Medal for the Best First Book, awarded by the Society for Army Historical Research.”

The winner of the Whitfield Prize is to be announced next month by the Royal Historical Society, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.