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2013 Lionel Gelber Prize Shortlist

For Immediate Release: February 19, 2013 (Toronto and Washington) – Patricia Rubin, President of the Lionel Gelber Prize Board, today announced the shortlist for the 2013 Lionel Gelber Prize.

“These five books offer fresh perspectives from the past that bring deeper understanding of current global issues, and compelling perspectives on the future that speak of things to come. The wisdom of this small crowd is worth the world's attention,” said Jury Chair William Thorsell.

•	Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956 by Anne Applebaum, published by Signal Editions

Jury Citation: “In Iron Curtain, Anne Applebaum captures the demeaning claustrophobia of Soviet-dominated regimes in Central Europe after 1945. With devastating precision, Applebaum documents the subordination of every autonomous social force in these countries by a paranoid and greedy power. Rarely has the fragility of liberalism been more deftly portrayed.”

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•	The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics

The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics
by Paul Bracken, published by Times Books

Jury Citation: "The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger and the New Power Politics by Paul Bracken urges an end to complacency about nuclear strategy post-Cold War. With deep personal experience in the field, Bracken examines regional nuclear theatres that barely existed under the 20th Century's duopoly, and makes the case for new paradigms of conflict management in a far more volatile nuclear game. This is a cautionary treatise of profound potential significance in a newly multilateral world.”

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•	Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland, published by Doubleday Canada and The Penguin Press

Jury Citation: “In Plutocrats, Chrystia Freeland describes the evolution of a new global elite of unprecedented economic, social and political power. This mobile, denaturalized community affects the lives of billions as its wealth and values distance it from even the wealthiest of societies. Freeland explores consequent issues of equity and accountability with fluency and intimacy, capturing the human dimension of a powerful and disturbing phenomenon.”

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• Ghosts of Empire: Britain's Legacies in the Modern World

Ghosts of Empire: Britain's Legacies in the Modern World by Kwasi Kwarteng, published by Public Affairs

Jury Citation: “In Ghosts of Empire: Britain's Legacies in the Modern World, Kwasi Kwarteng dispels the myth of full intent and central purpose in the evolution of the British Empire. Contingency, serendipity and personality emerge in a patchwork of regimes and purposes sharing primarily the British sense of class rather than coherent strategy. Kwarteng ties the British Empire's denouement to current trends with wit and a wisely warning eye.”

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• From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia

From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia
by Pankaj Mishra, published by Doubleday Canada and Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Jury Citation: "From the Ruins of Empire departs radically from the dominant narrative of the 20th Century as one of European and Cold Wars, to explore the emancipation of a majority of the world's peoples from Western colonial domination. With striking originality, Pankaj Mishra employs the biographies of prescient intellectuals to foretell the titanic struggles that

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Listen to the author's interview

Click here for individual audio interviews with each of the longlisted authors, conducted by noted journalist Robert Steiner and designed to engage the public with the works of these great thinkers right at the start of the annual prize cycle.

The winner of the 2013 Lionel Gelber Prize will be announced on March 25th, via press release. He or she will be invited to accept their award and deliver a free public lecture on Monday, April 15th at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, Canada.

 

About the Jurors for the 2013 Lionel Gelber Prize:

William Thorsell, Jury Chair, is currently Associate Senior Fellow, Massey College, University of Toronto, and Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. After more than 10 years as editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail in Toronto, Mr. Thorsell was appointed Director and CEO of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto in August, 2000. He was invested into the Order of Ontario in January of 2008 and also invested as Chevalier, Order of Arts and Letters, in France in 2010.

Daniel W. Drezner, is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a contributing editor at Foreign Policy. Prior to Fletcher, he taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has previously held positions with Civic Education Project, the RAND Corporation and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He is an editorial board member of Perspectives on Politics.

Gaynor Lilian Johnson, Ph D. is currently Reader in International History and Member of the University of Salford’s European Security Research Centre. A specialist in the history of the British Foreign Office, she is a member of the editorial board of Diplomacy and Statecraft and book reviews editor of The International History Review.

Walter Russell Mead is professor of Foreign Affairs and the Humanities at Bard College, the Henry A. Kissinger senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and one of the country’s leading students of American foreign policy. His book, Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World, was widely hailed as an important study that will change the way Americans and others think about American foreign policy. Special Providence was awarded the Lionel Gelber Prize in 2002. Mr. Mead writes regularly on international affairs for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Washington Post, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, New Yorker, Atlantic, Harper’s and Esquire.

Margaret Wente is among the best-read columnists in Canada. She writes on a range of subjects, from social policy to politics, the changing roles of men and women, the future of higher education, and the evolution of the post-welfare state. Prior to becoming a full-time columnist with The Globe and Mail in 1999, she was the editor of several leading business publications, including the Globe's Report on Business. She has won a variety of journalism awards, and is the author of two books, An Accidental Canadian and You Can't Say That in Canada. She has a BA in English from the University of Michigan, and an MA from the University of Toronto. She is a deep admirer and frequent critic of both countries.

About the Lionel Gelber Prize:

The Lionel Gelber Prize is a literary award for the world’s best non-fiction book in English on foreign affairs that seeks to deepen public debate on significant international issues. It was founded in 1989 in the memory of Canadian diplomat Lionel Gelber (1907 – 1989). A prize of $15,000 is awarded to the winner. The award is presented annually by the Lionel Gelber Foundation, in partnership with Foreign Policy Magazine and the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

Ezra F. Vogel was the 2012 prize winner for his book Deng Xiao Ping and the Transformation of China, published by the Belknap Press/Harvard University Press.

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