UNSW and NewSouth Publishing have capped off a great year in book production with double wins in the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History.

NewSouth Publishing has published one of the two winning books, A Three-Cornered Life: The Historian W.K. Hancock by Jim Davidson under the imprint of UNSW Press.

The other winning book, Bad Characters: Sex, Crime, Mutiny and Murder in the Great War, was written by Dr Peter Stanley, who is a Visiting Fellow in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at UNSW@ADFA.

Both winners receive a tax-free grant of $40,000 and an embossed gold medallion.

Two of the other four books which were shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Prize were also released by NewSouth Publishing (under its NewSouth imprint), A Swindler’s Progress: Nobles and Convicts in the Age of Liberty by Kirsten McKenzie and Savage or Civilised? Manners in Colonial Australia by Penny Russell.

This caps off a great year for UNSW with A Three-Cornered Life also winning three other awards: The Age Book of the Year for Non-Fiction, the West Australian Premier’s Award for Australian History and the Ernest Scott Prize for Australian and Colonial History.

Savage or Civilized? Manners in Colonial Australia also won the NSW Premier’s Award for Australian History; There Goes the Neighbourhood: Australia and the rise of Asia by Michael Wesley won the John Button Prize for Public Policy; and Culture Crisis: Anthropology and Politics in Aboriginal Australia edited by Jon Altman and Melinda Hinkson, took out the Scholarly Reference Category in the Australian Educational Publishing Awards. Sydney by Delia Falconer won the CAL Nib Waverley Library Prize for Literature and was shortlisted for five other prizes.

Australian Poetry Since 1788 edited by Geoffrey Lehmann and Robert Grayone has just been announced as one of the best books of the year in The Economist.

“This is the best year for prizes ever,” says Phillipa McGuinness, NewSouth Publishing Director.

“We’re commissioning and publishing writers who are at their peak and it’s wonderful for our authors and gratifying for the whole team that these books are being recognised and selling well,” she says.

All books are available at the UNSW Bookshop.