History in the making

England’s debts to Dutch culture and politics; Champlain’s founding of a new civilization on the St. Lawrence and power struggles among Natives and Europeans in the American West are the broad themes beautifully explored in each of this year’s Cundill Prize shortlisted books. The finalists are Champlain’s Dream by Brandeis history professor and Pulitzer Prize-winner, David Hackett Fischer; The Comanche Empire by Native American history professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Pekka Hämäläinen; and Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland’s Glory by University of London professor of Renaissance Studies and journalist, Lisa Jardine. The US$75,000 grand prize winner will be announced publicly on Nov. 2 followed by a discussion with the finalists and the 2009 Cundill Lecture, presented by Stuart B. Schwartz, last year’s winner for his book All Can Be Saved: Religious Tolerance and Salvation in the Iberia.

2009 Cundill International Prize and Lecture in History at McGill, Nov. 2, 11:00 a.m., Faculty Club Ballroom, 3450 McTavish Street. All are welcome. For more information please visit www.mcgill.ca/cundillprize or contact Helen Aaron at helen.aaron@mcgill.ca.