Announcing the Bracken Bower Prize for Young Writers

Bracken Bower Prize

We want to share news of an exciting prize for young business writers. The FT and McKinsey are partnering to present the Bracken Bower Prize for writers under the age of 35. Those interested should submit their proposal for a new business book by September 30th. More information on the prize is below:

The Financial Times and McKinsey & Company, organizers of the Business Book of the Year Award, want to encourage young authors to tackle emerging business themes. They hope to unearth new talent and encourage writers to research ideas that could fill future business books of the year. A prize of £15,000 will be given for the best book proposal.

The Bracken Bower Prize is named after Brendan Bracken who was chairman of the FT from 1945 to 1958 and Marvin Bower, managing director of McKinsey from 1950 to 1967, who were instrumental in laying the foundations for the present day success of the two institutions. This prize honors their legacy but also opens a new chapter by encouraging young writers and researchers to identify and analyse the business trends of the future.

The inaugural prize will be awarded to the best proposal for a book about the challenges and opportunities of growth. The main theme of the proposed work should be forward-looking. In the spirit of the Business Book of the Year, the proposed book should aim to provide a compelling and enjoyable insight into future trends in business, economics, finance or management. The judges will favour authors who write with knowledge, creativity, originality and style and whose proposed books promise to break new ground, or examine pressing business challenges in original ways.

Only writers who are under 35 on November 11 2014 (the day the prize will be awarded) are eligible. They can be a published author, but the proposal itself must be original and must not have been previously submitted to a publisher.

The judging panel for 2014 comprises: 
Vindi Banga, partner, Clayton Dubilier & Rice
Lynda Gratton, professor, London Business School
Jorma Ollila, chairman, Royal Dutch Shell and Outokumpu
Dame Gail Rebuck, chair, Penguin Random House, UK

The proposal should be no longer than 5,000 words – an essay or an article that conveys the argument, scope and style of the proposed book – and must include a description of how the finished work would be structured, for example, a list of chapter headings and a short bullet-point description of each chapter. In addition entrants should submit a biography, emphasizing why they are qualified to write a book on this topic. The best proposals will be published on

The organizers cannot guarantee publication of any book by the winners or runners-up. The finalists will be invited to the November 11 dinner where the Bracken Bower Prize will be awarded alongside the Business Book of the Year Award, in front of an audience of publishers, agents, authors and business figures. Once the finalists’ entries appear on, authors will be free to solicit or accept offers from publishers. The closing date for entries is 5pm (BST) on September 30th 2014.

Full rules for The Bracken Bower prize are available here.

WSJ World Cup E-Book – Out Now!


Are you sad–like us–that the World Cup is over? (Remember, we have a vested interest in USA soccer!) Or, are you a proud supporter of Die Mannschaft and still hungover from your victory celebrations? 

Either way, good news today for soccer fans: this morning, The Wall Street Journal rolls out a FREE e-book called The Unforgettable World Cup: Thirty-One Days of Triumph and Heartbreak in Brazil. 

It’s a collection of their best stories and essays, with fresh introductory pieces by sports columnist Jason Gay and veteran Brazil correspondent John Lyons. The book is free to download—both for subscribers and non-subscribers. The book is already available for download here. (An awesome cover too featuring rockstar-looking Neymar). Enjoy!




Last Stop on the STRANGE GLORY Book Tour


We love ‘postcards’ sent to us from book tours. This is our second one from Charles Marsh, author of STRANGE GLORY: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Knopf). Dr. Marsh has just returned from the end of his whirlwind tour, which began in April. Final stop: Los Angeles. Here’s the note from Margaux, a member of The Project on Lived Theology at UVA, who attended the event and wrote,

On this past Sunday night, following the Pacific Crossroads Church worship service held at St. John’s Episcopal church in South LA, there we had over 90 people who attended the book discussion, with over half spilling over into the sanctuary because of unexpectedly high attendance. Tucked into an alcove of an old episcopal sanctuary, dimly lit with alter candles, Reverend Rankin Wilbourne interviewed Dr. Charles Marsh and created a dialogue that touched on the power of story in shaping our understanding of history and theology, the influences of the America and the African American church on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the complexity and delicate balance of humanity and the sainthood that shines through this new biography on Bonhoeffer. Most of the guests in attendance purchased a book, many buying extra copies to give to friends/colleagues and all books were sold.

It’s a great way to end a tour that began in many months ago; thanks to everyone at the Project on Lived Theology, Knopf, and all others who made it possible.

CM panorama

Sunday’s event in Los Angeles


Strange Glory event in Charlottesville


Outside the NYC event


Dr. Marsh at the NYC event at City Seminary

All photos c/o the great camerawork of those with The Project on Lived Theology.

Bert Patenaude Scores First Hat Trick in World Cup

…the 1930 World Cup, that is.

In the inaugural world cup, held in Uruguay in 1930, U.S. National Team player Bert Patenaude scored the first-ever hat trick (that’s three goals in one game). His grandson, also named Bert Patenaude, is our author, a Hoover Fellow at Stanford University and the author of, most recently, TROTSKY: Downfall of a Revolutionary (HarperCollins).

World Cup

Bert Patenaude is in the center of the front row

Until recently, Patenaude’s feat had never been officially acknowledged or honored by FIFA. The problem was that a better-known player, from a markedly better team, also scored a hat trick in the 1930 World Cup. That was Argentina’s Guillermo Stábile, who scored a few days after Patenaude in a 6-3 defeat of Mexico. For the next 76 years he was celebrated as the man with the first World Cup hat trick. 

News of Patenaude’s goals didn’t travel too far or too wide at the time. No U.S. journalists were even present at the game. And not only that, those who were paying attention weren’t in agreement that Patenaude was the goal-scorer–because players’ jerseys didn’t have their numbers, the identity of the scorer wasn’t always observed or reordered correctly.

But in 2006 historian Colin Jose set the record straight, sending diagrams of the three goals to FIFA and receiving a reply: you’re right, it was Patenaude. 

As written in a great Sports Illustrated piece, The 10 Most Significant Goals In U.S. Soccer History, by Brian Straus:

On Nov. 10, 2006—76 years after the fact—FIFA announced that Patenaude, not Stábile, had scored the first World Cup hat trick. It cited “evidence from various historians and football fans, as well as lengthy research and confirmation from the U.S. Soccer Federation,” as drivers of the decision.

Alas, after the win over Paraguay (that Patenaude’s hat trick helped secure), the Americans were bested 6-1 by Argentina in the semifinal. (Painful shades of yesterday’s Brazil-Germany match, perhaps..). But today the U.S. soccer legacy can stand proud behind the fact we had the first hat trick in World Cup history, 84 years ago.

Patenaude was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1971 and was the USA’s all-time leading World Cup scorer for 80 years. Landon Donovan surpassed him in 2010. 

Whomever you’re rooting for today, enjoy the game, and: Remember Patenaude! 


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