Roderick Beaton Wins the Runciman Award 2021 with ‘Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation’

The winner of the Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award 2021 is Roderick Beaton for Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation (London: Allen Lane 2019). In winning the Runciman Award for a fourth time, Prof. Beaton has set a new record of achievement. Announcing the result of this year’s competition, Prof. Peter Frankopan, the chair of judges, said:

We were lucky enough to read some breath-takingly good books this year – including many that are both brave and ambitious, including re-tellings of stories that are well-known and investigations of real originality about topics rarely, if ever, looked at. Roddy Beaton’s book is a combination of all these qualities. It is not easy to write broad history for wide readership, and to do so well takes real skill. Covering recent centuries of Greece’s history requires courage too, as many have strong opinions about what should be written about – and how. What makes Beaton’s book stand out above all, however, is that just as Sir Steven Runciman’s books opened doors through which new generations of readers and scholars have since walked, so too will Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation. As a jury, we felt that this wonderful book captured the spirit of the Runciman Award perfectly.

John Kittmer, chair of the Council of The Anglo-Hellenic League, said:

On behalf of the League I warmly congratulate Roddy Beaton for winning this year’s Runciman Award. In its 35-year history Roddy is the only person to have won the award four times: a tremendous achievement. In relaunching the award under new sponsors in this year of the bicentenary of the Greek revolution, we are delighted that the judges have chosen to acknowledge the timely relevance of this great book.

The announcement of the winner of the Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award 2021 was made on Thursday 17 June, 7pm at an event held (because of Covid-19 restrictions) by Zoom webinar. Prof. Stathis Kalyvas (University of Oxford) gave the keynote address on ‘Why the Greek Revolution still matters today’. Peter Frankopan surveyed the field of longlisted and shortlisted books on behalf of the panel of judges. The event closed with an acceptance speech by the winner. 

A recording of the event is available now on the AHL YouTube channel:

The Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award is sponsored by the A. C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation and the A. G. Leventis Foundation.

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