Nasson bags second UCT Book Award

16 May 2007 | Story by Helen Swingler

Twice is nice: Prof Bill Nasson's 2007 UCT Book Award is his second such accolade.

Historical Studies' Professor Bill Nasson has won the 2007 UCT Book Award, his second such award, for Britannia's Empire - Making a British World (Tempus, 2004).

He will receive the award at the June graduation ceremony.

Nasson, who describes himself as a writer of history, not a historian who writes, won his first UCT Book Award in 1993 for Abraham Esau's War: A black South African War in the Cape 1899-1902.

It was a seminal publication, one that dissected an altogether neglected aspect of war and South Africa: the contributions of irregular soldiers and civilians.

In this nomination, Professor Vivian Bickford-Smith wrote of Nasson's book: 'Britannia's Empire is packed with elegant and concise argument, original insights and what can only be described as Nassonian witticisms.'

John Darwin, an eminent scholar of the British Empire, wrote in the UK's Times Literary Supplement: 'The interweaving of social, cultural, political, diplomatic, economic and military history is extraordinarily deft: a huge range of reading is poured into some 200 pages. Much of the pleasure of the book comes from the freshness of the writing, which is crisp, economical and witty ' Readers in search of a short history of the British Empire, comprehensive and bracing, need look no further.'

Professor Kay McCormick's Language in Cape Town's District Six and Professor Jonathan Burchell's Principles of Criminal Law received Meritorious Book Awards.

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