Bruce Robinson nominated for the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction

Congratulations to Bruce Robinson for making it onto the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize longlist for They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper, his gripping quest to discover the identity of history’s most notorious murderer.

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For over a hundred years, ‘the mystery of Jack the Ripper’ has been a source of unparalleled fascination and horror, spawning an army of obsessive theorists, and endless volumes purporting finally to reveal the identity of the brutal murderer who terrorised Victorian England.

But what if there was never really any ‘mystery’ at all? What if the Ripper was always hiding in plain sight, deliberately leaving a trail of clues to his identity for anyone who cared to look, while cynically mocking those who were supposedly attempting to bring him to justice?

In They All Love Jack, the award-winning film director and screenwriter Bruce Robinson exposes the cover-up that enabled one of history’s most notorious serial killers to remain at large. More than twelve years in the writing, this is much more than a radical reinterpretation of the Jack the Ripper legend, and an enthralling hunt for the killer. A literary high-wire act reminiscent of Tom Wolfe or Hunter S. Thompson, it is an expressionistic journey through the cesspools of late-Victorian society, a phantasmagoria of highly placed villains, hypocrites and institutionalised corruption.

Polemic, forensic investigation, panoramic portrait of an age, underpinned by deep scholarship and delivered in Robinson’s inimitably vivid and scabrous prose, They All Love Jack is an absolutely riveting and unique book, demolishing the theories of generations of self-appointed experts – the so-called ‘Ripperologists’ – to make clear, at last, who really did it; and more importantly, how he managed to get away with it for so long. We are delighted it has been recognised for such a prestigious prize before its publication.

Also on this year’s Samuel Johnson longlist are:

  • Jonathan Bate, Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life (William Collins)
  • Robert Gildea, Fighters in the Shadows: A New History of the French Resistance (Faber & Faber)
  • Robert Macfarlane, Landmarks (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Oliver Morton, The Planet Remade (Granta Books)
  • Mohamedou Ould Slahi, Guantanamo Diary (Canongate)
  • Peter Pomerantsev, Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: Adventures in Modern Russia (Faber & Faber)
  • Laurence Scott, The Four-Dimensional Human (William Heinemann (PRH))
  • Steve Silberman, Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently (Allen & Unwin)
  • Emma Sky, The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq (Atlantic Books)
  • Tim Snyder, Black Earth (Bodley Head)
  • Samanth Subramanian, This Divided Island (Atlantic Books)

They All Love Jack will be published on 6th October.

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