Shortlist announced for Australias most prestigious business literature prize 4122019 13051 AM

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    The following five works have been shortlisted for the $30,000 Ashurst Business Literature Prize 2018:

    • The Big Four: The Curious and Perilous Future of the Global Accounting Monopoly by Ian D. Gow and Stuart Kells (La Trobe University Press)
    • The Price of Fortune by Damon Kitney (HarperCollins)
    • Swanston: Merchant Statesman by Eleanor Robin (Australian Scholarly Publishing)
    • Elizabeth Macarthur: A Life at the Edge of the World by Michelle Scott Tucker (Text Publishing)
    • The Lives of Brian by Brian Sherman and AM Jonson (Melbourne University Publishing)

    The shortlist was selected by an independent judging panel comprising of Richard Fisher AM, General Counsel and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Sydney; leading business journalist, editor and author, Narelle Hooper; and Margie Seale, a Non‐Executive Director of Telstra Corporation Limited, Westpac Banking Corporation, Scentre Group Limited and Australia Pacific Holdings. 

    The award was established by international law firm Ashurst and the State Library of NSW in 2004 to encourage the highest possible standards of literary commentary on business and financial affairs written by an Australian author.

    Chair of the judging panel, Richard Fisher AM, commented: “This year’s shortlisted books were chosen from a strong field.  Four are biographies; two are concerned with pioneering business people, Elizabeth Macarthur and Charles Swanston whilst the others focus on James Packer and Brian Sherman. The fifth traces the evolution of accounting practice, and particularly The Big Four, from Medici to the modern day.” 

    Ashurst Sydney office managing partner, Anita Cade, added: "The Ashurst Business Literature Prize celebrates the diversity of Australian business and financial affairs and the excellence of our business writing community. The quality of writing and the detail of research in this year's shortlist is exceptional, and we are looking forward to presenting this prestigious honour to one of the five outstanding books."

    State Librarian Dr John Vallance said: “The State Library and its Foundation are delighted by Ashurst’s ongoing support for this important prize, now in its 16th year.”
    The winner will be announced at a special presentation dinner on 15 May 2019. 

    Background information:

    • Books nominated for the Ashurst Business Literature Prize 2018 must have been first published between 1 September 2017 and 31 December 2018, and be commercially available in Australia within this period.
    • Writers whose works are nominated must be living Australian citizens or persons holding permanent resident status.
    • Last year’s prize was won by Michael Traill for Jumping Ship: From the world of corporate Australia to the heart of social investment (Hardie Grant Publishing).