March 12, 2024 

‘Free’ Author Awarded Ridenhour Book Prize 

WASHINGTON – Lea Ypi will be awarded the Ridenhour Book Prize for her memoir, Free: Coming of Age at the End of History. The book captures Ypi’s recollections of coming of age during the collapse of communist Albania in December 1990 and the paradoxes of freedom that came with a presumably freer democratic and capitalistic nation. The story shows how history shapes people’s lives and their politics. The Ridenhour Book Prize honors an outstanding work of social significance from the prior publishing year; the prize also recognizes investigative and reportorial distinction. 

Lea Ypi is Professor of Political Theory at the London School of Economics. A native of Albania, she studied Philosophy and then Literature at the University of Rome, La Sapienza, and was a Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. She is the recipient of many prizes, including the Philip Leverhulme Prize for exceptional research achievement and the British Academy Brian Barry Prize for excellence in Political Science. Her last book, Free: Coming of Age at the End of History, was awarded the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2021 and the RSL Ondaatje Prize 2022, was shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, the Costa Biography Award 2021, and the Gordon Burn Prize 2022, and has been sold in 30 languages. She contributes regularly to The Guardian, New Statesman, and Financial Times. 

The annual Ridenhour Prizes, now in their 20th year, recognize those who persevere in acts of truth-telling that protect the public interest, promote social justice or illuminate a more just vision of society. These prizes memorialize the spirit of fearless truth-telling that Ron Ridenhour, the My Lai massacre whistleblower and George Polk award-winning investigative reporter, reflected throughout his extraordinary life and career. 

Ypi will be given the Ridenhour Book Prize on March 28, 2024 at the 20th Annual Ridenhour Prizes Gala at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC.  To learn more or purchase tickets for this event, visit the Ridenhour Prizes website.

Contact: Charlotte McCann, Ridenhour Prize Event Coordinator  

Phone: (202) 926-3323  

Email: [email protected]