CWA Dagger for Non-fiction 2012 Winner
and Robbyn Swan
The Eleventh Day
Sponsors: The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society
Thirty-two years after he won the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction with Conspiracy, his account of the Kennedy assassination, Anthony Summers has won the CWA ALCS Non_Fiction Dagger again, this time with The Eleventh Day (Transworld / Doubleday), a book he co-authored with his wife Robbyn Swan. An honourable mention goes to The Negotiator by Ben Lopez (Little, Brown) The announcements were made at the awards ceremony held at One Birdcage Walk in London on July 5th.
The judges described the winner as a ‘… most-extensively researched account by a leading investigative journalist, of what happened on 11 September, 2001, with the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York, uncovering much of what has hitherto not been made public. With access to thousands of previously withheld documents, and many new interviews, the authors also deal with all the conspiracy theories, and their penetrating work impressed the judges highly.’
This Dagger is a competition for any non-fiction work on a real-life crime theme or a closely-related subject by an author of any nationality, as long as the book was first published in the UK in English between between 1st June, 2011 and 31st May, 2012.
The ALCS, which is sponsoring this award, is a membership organisation for writers and seeks to protect and promote the rights of authors writing in all disciplines and ensure they receive fair payment for their work. It collects fees on behalf of the whole spectrum of UK writers: novelists, film & TV script writers, poets and playwrights, freelance journalists, translators and adaptors.
The Eleventh Day: With access to thousands of recently released official documents, fresh interviews and the perspective that can come only from a decade of research and reflection, Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan have written the most complete and definitive account of 9/11 we may ever read. For millions in the West, September 11, 2001 is the darkest day in living memory. Ten years on, Osama bin Laden is dead, but the questions remain. What exactly happened on 9/11? Could it have been prevented? How and why did so much acrimony and bad information arise from the ashes of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a quiet field in Pennsylvania? And what remains unresolved? The Eleventh Day investigates the response of President Bush and the U.S. military, the inaccurate official stories told afterwards, analyses the motives behind the onslaught and the blunders by U.S. intelligence before the attacks.
Anthony Summers is a writer, television producer and journalist. He worked for Granada TV’s award-winning World in Action programme as well being a former senior journalist for the BBC. His speciality was coverage of the United States, the Middle East, and the Vietnam War. He smuggled cameras into the Soviet Union to obtain the only interview with Andrei Sakharov when he won the Nobel Prize. He contributes articles to Vanity Fair as does his wife and co-author, the American journalist and author Robbyn Swan.
Together they have written Sinatra: the Life, The Arrogance of Power (a biography of Richard Nixon) and Official & Confidential (on J. Edgar Hoover).
His earlier bestselling books include Conspiracy (winner of the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction in 1980 and reissued as Not in Your Lifetime in 1998), Goddess (Marilyn Monroe) and Honeytrap (on the Profumo scandal).
The judges gave an honorable mention to this book, saying ‘This is a world of which the judges knew nothing, and found well worth appreciating. ‘I’m writing this under a pseudonym’ says the author. ‘If I used my real name, I may become a hostage myself’ – and this caution is obvious, and the dangers he faces very clear. He describes in detail how he works with insurance companies to secure the release of innocent hostages held by kidnappers large and small, often bluffing the amount of ransom to be paid.’
Synopsis: Ben Lopez spends his life travelling the world, bartering with people who value money over life. Working for governments, law enforcement agencies, multinational corporations and private clients, Ben is an expert K&R (Kidnap and Ransom) consultant, supplying professional kidnap-negotiation services. He can be called out to anywhere in the world within 24 hours notice to set up and command the negotiator's cell, bargaining with religious fanatics, hardened criminals, and other desperate people in order to save the lives of their captives. Alongside a shadowy team of former spies and special operatives, his arsenal of psychological techniques is just as powerful as brute force. He'll spend as long as is necessary to get the job done. And then he'll disappear. This extraordinary book reads like a thriller - but for those involved in the stories within it, the drama, and the tension, is very real.
Ben Lopez was born in New York and spent part of his childhood in Venezuela, where he witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of Kidnap for Ransom (K&R). His work has taken him across the globe, from Mexico to the Middle East. In more than twenty years in the K&R field he has never lost a hostage. Ben Lopez isn't his real name. If he told you it, it would be too dangerous for him to travel to many countries ever again. He lives with his partner in London.
The other four books on this year’s shortlist were:
To Live Outside the Law by Leaf Fielding (Serpent’s Tail )
Dark Market by Misha Glenny (Vintage)
Hood Rat by Gavin Knight (Pan Macmillan)
Witness by David Smith with Carol Ann Lee (Mainstream)
To Live Outside the Law
Synopsis: To Live Outside the Law is the first insider account of the LSD conspiracy ended by Operation Julie, Britain's biggest drug bust. The book opens with Leaf Fielding’s arrest in a pre-dawn police raid and ends five years later with his release from jail. The narrative moves back and forth between the harsh world of prison and his previous life - from a childhood at a brutal boarding school onto undergraduate days and his LSD epiphany in the summer of love, 1967. Acid transformed him in an instant from nerdy scholar to footloose freak. His ten years of adventures in the hippie underground gave the title to this book - a quote from a Bob Dylan song - they also took him across Europe, to the Andes, to Indochina and on to the edge of the known universe. They also led inexorably to his downfall.
Judges’ comments: ‘This personal account of the author’s arrest and subsequent imprisonment – for his involvement in the lysergic acid factory that was ended by the police Operation Julie in a pre-dawn raid in 1977 - provided not only the complete story of the conspiracy for the first time, but the author’s subsequent experiences in prison,. very illuminating’
Twenty-eight years after his release from prison Leaf Fielding has been a teacher in Spain and a philanthropist, setting up a home for orphans in Malawi. He now sells organic produce in the region of the south of France where he lives.
Synopsis: The benefits of living in a digital, globalised society are enormous; so too are the dangers. The world has become a law enforcer’s nightmare and every criminal’s dream. We bank online, shop online, date, learn, work and live online. But have the institutions that keep us safe on the streets learned to protect us in the burgeoning digital world? In this fascinating and compelling book, Misha Glenny explores the three fundamental threats facing us in the 21st century: cyber crime, cyber warfare and cyber industrial espionage. Governments and the private sector are losing billions of dollars each year, fighting an ever-morphing, often invisible, often super-smart new breed of criminal: the hacker. Glenny has travelled and trawled the world exploring the rise and fall of the criminal website, DarkMarket. He has uncovered the most vivid, alarming and illuminating stories – the criminals, the geeks, the police, the security experts and the victims.
Judges’ comments: ‘This account of how criminal hackers all over the world are able to steal vast amounts of money, not only from unsuspecting private individuals’ bank accounts, but from government sites, educational and indeed, frightening. The author’s pertinacity in interviewing many of the criminals, the ‘geeks’, the police, security experts and victims all over the world, is commendable.’
Misha Glenny is a distinguished journalist and historian. As the Central Europe Correspondent first for the Guardian and then for the BBC, he chronicled the collapse of communism and the wars in the former Yugoslavia. He won the Sony Gold Award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting. The author of four books, including the acclaimed McMafia, he has been regularly consulted by the US and European governments on major policy issues and ran an NGO for three years, assisting with the reconstruction of Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo. He now lives in London.
Synopsis: Researched on the front line and told like a thriller, a unique and groundbreaking exploration of Britain’s hidden ganglands In Manchester, Anders Svensson is on the trail of drug baron Merlin and his lieutenant Flow, a man so dangerous his type is said to appear only once in a decade. In Glasgow, faced with the highest murder rate in Europe, Karen McCluskey is on a one-woman mission to end gang warfare. In London, Pilgrim finds he's no longer feared. Troll, the child soldier, is terrorizing the streets. This is our hidded urban underworld. Untold, till now.
Judges’ comments: ‘This is a fine piece of investigative journalism, covering three aspects of gang warfare: personal interviews with those involved in the drug trade in Manchester; with the gangs of Glasgow, which has the highest murder rate in Europe; and among the Indian population of Southall, London. The author is to be commended on his ability to get close to the criminals.’
Gavin Knight has written for the Guardian, Newsweek, Esquire, The Times and Prospect. Hood Rat is his first book.
David Smith with Carol Ann Lee
Synopsis: Despite standing as chief prosecution witness in the Moors Murders trial, David Smith was vilified by the public due to the accusations thrown at him by Myra Hindley and Ian Brady about his involvement in their crimes. Hindley’s later confession that she and Brady had lied in an attempt to reduce their sentences did little to diminish the slurs against his name. For almost 45 years, Smith has been asked by writers and film-makers to tell his story. Apart from a handful of brief interviews, he has refused. Until now. In Witness, interviews, archival research and, most significantly, David Smith's own vivid memoir are fused to create an unforgettable, often harrowing account of his life before, during and after the Moors Murders.
The latest, paperback, edition of this book carries the revised title Evil Relations.
Judges’ comments: ‘This true personal story – told here for the first time, and providing many previously-unknown details – by David Smith, the principal prosecution witness in the trial of the ‘Moors Murderers’, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, fascinating. Carol Ann Lee provides the linking parts of the story.’
David Smith now lives in rural Ireland with his wife. He has four children and several grandchildren. Carol Ann Lee is an acclaimed biographer and has written extensively on the Holocaust. Her most recent publication, One of Your Own, focused on the life and death of Myra Hindley and was published to blanket critical acclaim.
Brian Innes, Chair: Graduated in chemistry, and worked for some years in biochemical research. He is the author of more than 40 books, mainly on criminal matters, and published in 16 foreign languages.
Elli Gooden: Eleanor Gooden has been employed for over twenty years in the Probation Service, working both in prisons and out in the community, specialising in sex offences, domestic abuse and other violent crimes. She has run therapeutic programmes to treat offenders.
Carol Anne Davis is an author with seven crime fact and six crime fiction to her name, most recently Children Who Kill.
Susan Moody: Susan has published 28 novels most of them crime fiction, and has been translated into 20 languages, She is a former Chairman of the CWA and a former President of the International Association of Crime Writers (IACW).
Helen Pepper: Helen’s first job was with the Forensic Science Service. She currently works as a senior lecturer in Police Studies at Teesside University. Helen enjoys helping crime writers with their research, and is also a consultant for ITV drama.