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LSE academic wins prestigious Wolfson History Prize

Dominic LievenProfessor Dominic Lieven has been awarded the Wolfson History Prize for his book about Napoleon's conflict with Russia. Dominic Lieven, professor of Russian history, is only the second LSE academic to win the esteemed award.

Professor Lieven shares the 2009 award with Jonathan Sumption, author of The Hundred Years War III: divided houses (Faber & Faber Ltd). The winners will receive £20,000 each.

Russia Against Napoleon: the battle for Europe, 1807 to 1814 (Penguin, 2009) was awarded the prize by The Wolfson Foundation, a charity that aims to support excellence through funding in the fields of arts, humanities, science, medicine, health, and education.

The Wolfson History Prize was established in 1972 at the personal insistence of Leonard Wolfson to encourage historians to create original historical writing of high quality that are accessible to the general reader. The Prize is awarded annually to two or three works. Wolfson juries often focus on literary qualities as well as the originality of the works submitted.

Russia Against Napoleon reveals the Russian story of the 1812 French invasion of Russia. It follows the Russian army's advance across Europe in the following eighteen months, culminating in the capture of Paris and the overthrow of Napoleon. Using a refreshing, rare and remarkable array of sources, Professor Lieven details how the Russians went from the retreat of Moscow to taking centre stage in European affairs. Much more than a history of the battlefield, Russia Against Napoleon intricately weaves in the suffering of Russian people during the pursuit of victory while also revealing one of the most successful espionage missions in history.

Professor Lieven, who is head of the Department of International History at LSE, said: 'I am grateful to the Wolfson Foundation and to the judges for this award. Thanks are also due to the Leverhulme Foundation which supported the research behind the book. LSE's International History department contains many fine scholars and teachers. I hope the award will do something not just for my morale but also for our department's international reputation.'

Russia Against Napoleon: the battle for Europe 1807 to 1814

Podcast and video of Professor Lieven's lecture from October 2009



Donald Cameron Watt was the first LSE academic to be awarded the Wolfson History Prize in 1989 for his book How War Came: the immediate origins of the Second World War 1938-1939.