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The Independent Online
NEAL Ascherson, the Independent on Sunday's columnist, has won the Orwell Prize for political writing. He is the first winner of the award, established by the George Orwell Memorial Fund and The Political Quarterly.

The judges praised the intellectual breadth and depth of Ascherson's work. 'Over the year, he has written with authority on subjects as diverse as Germany, South Africa, Eastern Europe - and Clint Eastwood, in a superb moral essay on violence.'

The book category prize went to Anatol Lieven, for The Baltic Revolution. Paul Routledge of the Independent on Sunday had been shortlisted for his Scargill, The Unauthorised Biography.