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The finalists for a top Canadian prize for non-fiction political books has been announced, including a nod to Globe columnist Jeffrey Simpson.

The Writers' Trust of Canada named the five finalists for the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing on Tuesday.

"I'm thrilled with the nomination, of course," Mr. Simpson said. "It took a lot of work to do this book on the Canadian health-system – more than for any book I had written. I thank Penguin, the publisher, because all the other major houses turned it down, believing that it would not sell and that Canadians no longer read serious books, at least by Canadians."

Here are the finalists:

Marcello Di Cintio's Walls: Travels along the barricades. A mix of travel and sociological writing, Mr. Di Cintio chronicles how security parameters from Belfast to Palestine effect the people who live next to them. ( Read the Globe's review.)

Taras Grescoe's Straphanger: Saving our cities and ourselves from the automobile. A treatise on where and how public transportation has worked best around the world. ( Read the Globe's review.)

Noah Richler's What we talk about when we talk about war. Mr. Richler argues Canada's new government hawks have turned their back on the country's old Pearsonian peacekeeping ideals. ( Read the Globe's review.)

Jeffrey Simpson's Chronic condition: Why Canada's health-care system needs to be dragged into the 21st century. The Globe columnist looks at how ill-adapted the country's health-care system is to an aging population, and some possible solutions. ( Read the Globe's review .)

Peter F. Trent's The Merger delusion: How swallowing its suburbs made an even bigger mess of Montreal. The mayor of Westmount, Que., outlines the problems with amalgamation of the City of Montreal in 2002, and his personal role in the aftermath. ( Read more about it .)

The 13th annual prize will be award at a gala on March 6, 2013.

The award is named after Shaughnessy Cohen, a Liberal MP from Windsor, Ont., first elected in 1993 who died in office in 1998.