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Lionel Gelber Prize

The Lionel Gelber Prize is a literary award for "the world's best non-fiction book in English that seeks to deepen public debate on significant global issues". It is presented annually by The Lionel Gelber Foundation and the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto. It is worth CAD $15,000.

Founded in 1989 by Canadian diplomat Lionel Gelber, the prize honours "the excellence of those who think and write about the local and global forces of change in international issues". Recipients are judged by a jury panel of experts from Canada, Britain, and the United States. The award has been described by The Economist as "the world's most important award for non-fiction".

(from Lionel Gelber Prize Wiki Site, wikipedia.org)
 

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A Choice of Enemies: America Confronts the Middle East

PartNumber: 9781586487010
It is in the Middle East that the U.S. has been made to confront its attitudes on the use of force, the role of allies, and international law. The history of the U.S. in the Middle East, then, becomes an especially revealing mirror on Americas view of its role in the wider world.

In this wise, objective, and illuminating history, Lawrence Freedman shows how three key events in 19781979 helped establish the foundations for U.S. involvement in the Middle East that would last for thirty years, without offering any straightforward or bloodless exit options: the Camp David summit leading to the IsraelEgypt Treaty; the Iranian Islamic revolution leading to the Shahs departure followed by the hostage crisis; and the socialist revolution in Afghanistan, resulting in the doomed Soviet intervention. Drawing on his considerable expertise, Freedman makes clear how Americas strategic choices in those and subsequent crises led us to where we are today.


A Great Wall: Six Presidents And China, An Investigative His...

PartNumber: 9781891620379
The former Beijing bureau chief of the New York Times offers a revelatory history of the complicated, combative and often secret relationship between China and the United States during the past three decades.. The fragile friendship between China and the United States has always been shrouded in secrecy, miscommunication, rivalry, fondness and fear. Shaped by the Cold War during the Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan presidencies, the relationship has changed dramatically under Bush and Clinton. China and the United States may be the two most important countries in the world over the next several decades, but until this book nobody has truly explored the history of their relationship. Patrick Tylers booka remarkable, inside accountwill be the classic work on this subject, essential reading for anyone concerned about foreign policy past and foreign policy future.
When the People's Republic of China was proclaimed in 1949, the balance of power in Asia was irrevocably changed. Ever since, democratic America has been obliged to contend with a Communist colossus whose world objectives are diametrically opposed to its own--how to deal with a leader, Mao Zedong, who once said, "Let 400 million Chinese die and 300 million will be left"? This book is no dry history; the author describes how easily escalating tensions over Taiwan could involve the USA in a major war today. Trained as an investigative journalist, Patrick Tyler is a marvelous writer, combining shrewd diplomatic analysis with deft descriptions of the protagonists, many of whom he saw in action when he was New York Times bureau chief in Beijing. His cast of characters includes the greatest political figures of the day, from Mao and Gorbachev to six American presidents, beginning with Nixon, whose bold knocking opened China's door, and ending with Clinton's gamely attempting to balance America's commercial interests with human rights issues. Tyler's personal experience and formidable research, including 15,000 pages of newly declassified documents, produce gems such as Brezhnev's attempt to run off with a briefcase belonging to an American negotiator visiting the men's room, and the shocking picture of Kissinger passing national secrets to Chinese officials. A Great Wall is a highly readable account of relations between the world's most powerful and the world's most populous nations and their momentous implications for the new millennium. --John Stevenson

Blood and Belonging: Journeys Into the New Nationalism

PartNumber: 9780374524487

Until the end of the Cold War, the politics of national identity was confined to isolated incidents of ethnics strife and civil war in distant countries. Now, with the collapse of Communist regimes across Europe and the loosening pf the Cold War'd clamp on East-West relations, a surge of nationalism has swept the world stage. In Blood and Belonging, Ignatieff makes a thorough examination of why blood ties--inplaces as diverse as Yugoslavia, Kurdistan, Northern Ireland, Quebec, Germany, and the former Soviet republics--may be the definitive factor in international relation today. He asks how ethnic pride turned into ethnic cleansing, whether modern citizens can lay the ghosts of a warring past, why--and whether--a people need a state of their own, and why armed struggle might be justified. Blood and Belonging is a profound and searching look at one of the most complex issues of our time.


Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an...

PartNumber: 9780618619078
From the author of the widely acclaimed King Leopold's Ghost comes the taut, gripping account of one of the most brilliantly organized social justice campaigns in history -- the fight to free the slaves of the British Empire. In early 1787, twelve men -- a printer, a lawyer, a clergyman, and others united by their hatred of slavery -- came together in a London printing shop and began the world's first grass-roots movement, battling for the rights of people on another continent. Masterfully stoking public opinion, the movement's leaders pioneered a variety of techniques that have been adopted by citizens' movements ever since, from consumer boycotts to wall posters and lapel buttons to celebrity endorsements. A deft chronicle of this groundbreaking antislavery crusade and its powerful enemies, Bury the Chains gives a little-celebrated human rights watershed its due at last.


Cruelty And Silence: War, Tyranny, Uprising, And The Arab Wo...

"One of the most important books ever written on the state of the modern Middle East." Geraldine Brooks, Wall Street Journal

The Iraqi dissident Kanan Makiya brought the attention of the world to the brutality of Saddam Hussein's regime in his powerful 1989 bestseller Republic of Fear. Now, writing for the first time under his own name, Makiya confronts the broad realities of tyranny in the Middle East and the moral failure of Arab and pro-Arab intellectuals to repudiate it.

Makiya first gives us the stories of Khalil, Abu Haydar, Omar, Mustafa, and Taimourthe Arab and Kurdish heroes of this book. Their testimony, revealing the true extent of occupation, prejudice, revolution, and routinized violence, is a compelling example of the literature of witness. He then links these tales of survival to an examination of the Arab intelligentsia's response to Saddam Hussein and the Gulf War, comparing the flood of condemnation of the West with the trickle of protest over Saddam's mass murder campaign against the Kurds.

In his exploration of these "landscapes of cruelty and silence," Kanan Makiya lays out the nationalist mythologies that underlie them. He calls for a new politics in the Arab worlda politics that puts absolute respect for human life above all else.

Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China

PartNumber: 9780674725867
No one in the twentieth century had a greater impact on world history than Deng Xiaoping. And no scholar is better qualified than Ezra Vogel to disentangle the contradictions embodied in the life and legacy of China's boldest strategist-the pragmatic, disciplined force behind China's radical economic, technological, and social transformation.

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and ...

PartNumber: 9780143034667
Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize

The explosive first-hand account of America's secret history in Afghanistan


With the publication of Ghost Wars, Steve Coll became not only a Pulitzer Prize winner, but also the expert on the rise of the Taliban, the emergence of Bin Laden, and the secret efforts by CIA officers and their agents to capture or kill Bin Laden in Afghanistan after 1998.

King Leopold's Ghost: A Story Of Greed, Terror, And Heroism ...

PartNumber: 046442001908
In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold Ii of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million--all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian. Heroic efforts to expose these crimes eventually led to the first great human rights movement of the twentieth century, in which everyone from Mark Twain to the Archbishop of Canterbury participated. King Leopold's Ghost is the haunting account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions, a man as cunning, charming, and cruel as any of the great Shakespearean villains. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who fought Leopold: a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure and unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust. Adam Hochschild brings this largely untold story alive with the wit and skill of a Barbara Tuchman. Like her, he knows that history often provides a far richer cast of characters than any novelist could invent. Chief among them is Edmund Morel, a young British shipping agent who went on to lead the international crusade against Leopold. Another hero of this tale, the Irish patriot Roger Casement, ended his life on a London gallows. Two courageous black Americans, George Washington Williams and William Sheppard, risked much to bring evidence of the Congo atrocities to the outside world. Sailing into the middle of the story was a young Congo River steamboat officer named Joseph Conrad. And looming above them all, the duplicitous billionaire King Leopold Ii. With great power and compassion, King Leopold's Ghost will brand the tragedy of the Congo--too long forgotten--onto the conscience of the West.

King Leopold of Belgium, writes historian Adam Hochschild in this grim history, did not much care for his native land or his subjects, all of which he dismissed as "small country, small people." Even so, he searched the globe to find a colony for Belgium, frantic that the scramble of other European powers for overseas dominions in Africa and Asia would leave nothing for himself or his people. When he eventually found a suitable location in what would become the Belgian Congo, later known as Zaire and now simply as Congo, Leopold set about establishing a rule of terror that would culminate in the deaths of 4 to 8 million indigenous people, "a death toll," Hochschild writes, "of Holocaust dimensions." Those who survived went to work mining ore or harvesting rubber, yielding a fortune for the Belgian king, who salted away billions of dollars in hidden bank accounts throughout the world. Hochschild's fine book of historical inquiry, which draws heavily on eyewitness accounts of the colonialists' savagery, brings this little-studied episode in European and African history into new light. --Gregory McNamee

Loosing the Bonds

Loosing the Bonds is popular, narrative history at its best: a consuming, dramatically told David and Goliath story about the moral power of justice triumphing over powerful forces of oppression.



Apartheid-the brutal enforcement of racial segregation by South Africa's white government--became official policy in post-World War II South Africa, coinciding with the rise of the civil-rights movement in the United States. From the Kennedy administration on, Washington spoke against apartheid but, pressured by American corporations making big profits in South Africa and the geopolitics of the cold war, did little to foster change. Anti-apartheid activists turned their attention instead to South Africa's Achilles heel: its economy. Soon institutional America-churches, foundations, union and government pension funds-joined activists and college students in pressuring American business to get out of South Africa. Their efforts built to a climax in the 1980s, when South Africa became the burning issue of the day, the United States imposed punitive sanctions, and the apartheid regime collapsed.



Robert Kinloch Massie re-creates the passions and struggles of these years, deftly showing how American and South African politics, money and personalities were intertwined in these years. Populated with real-life heroes and villains, bursting with colorful incident, Loosing the Bonds is an inspiring chronicle of one of the most important struggles of our lifetime.
Robert Kinloch Massie, an ordained Episcopal minister and longtime liberal activist, offers the most complete account of how anti-apartheid crusaders in the United States waged economic war on South Africa through a strategy of divestment and sanctions. Loosing the Bonds doesn't lack for detail and may in fact be too long. But Massie nicely combines historical analysis with his insider's account of the movement, and the parallels he draws between the United States and South Africa are often intriguing. An inspiring story of grassroots pressure sparking political change, this book is good tonic for pessimists who don't think individual actions can make a difference.

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fa...

A Financial Times Best Book of the Year
Shortlisted for the Lionel Gelber Prize


There has always been some gap between rich and poor in this country, but recently what it means to be rich has changed dramatically. Forget the 1 percentPlutocrats proves that it is the wealthiest 0.1 percent who are outpacing the rest of us at breakneck speed. Most of these new fortunes are not inherited, amassed instead by perceptive businesspeople who see themselves as deserving victors in a cutthroat international competition. With empathy and intelligence, Plutocrats reveals the consequences of concentrating the worlds wealth into fewer and fewer hands. Propelled by fascinating original interviews with the plutocrats themselves, Plutocrats is a tour de force of social and economic history, the definitive examination of inequality in our time.

Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Chang...

PartNumber: 9780415935364
"God has a special providence for fools, drunks and the United States of America."--Otto von Bismarck

America's response to the September 11 attacks spotlighted many of the country's longstanding goals on the world stage: to protect liberty at home, to secure America's economic interests, to spread democracy in totalitarian regimes and to vanquish the enemy utterly.

One of America's leading foreign policy thinkers, Walter Russell Mead, argues that these diverse, conflicting impulses have in fact been the key to the U.S.'s success in the world. In a sweeping new synthesis, Mead uncovers four distinct historical patterns in foreign policy, each exemplified by a towering figure from our past.

Wilsonians are moral missionaries, making the world safe for democracy by creating international watchdogs like the U.N. Hamiltonians likewise support international engagement, but their goal is to open foreign markets and expand the economy. Populist Jacksonians support a strong military, one that should be used rarely, but then with overwhelming force to bring the enemy to its knees. Jeffersonians, concerned primarily with liberty at home, are suspicious of both big military and large-scale international projects.

A striking new vision of America's place in the world, Special Providence transcends stale debates about realists vs. idealists and hawks vs. doves to provide a revolutionary, nuanced, historically-grounded view of American foreign policy.

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing an...

PartNumber: 9780195373387
In the universally acclaimed and award-winning The Bottom Billion, Paul Collier reveals that fifty failed states--home to the poorest one billion people on Earth--pose the central challenge of the developing world in the twenty-first century. The book shines much-needed light on this group of small nations, largely unnoticed by the industrialized West, that are dropping further and further behind the majority of the world's people, often falling into an absolute decline in living standards. A struggle rages within each of these nations between reformers and corrupt leaders--and the corrupt are winning. Collier analyzes the causes of failure, pointing to a set of traps that ensnare these countries, including civil war, a dependence on the extraction and export of natural resources, and bad governance. Standard solutions do not work, he writes; aid is often ineffective, and globalization can actually make matters worse, driving development to more stable nations. What the bottom billion need, Collier argues, is a bold new plan supported by the Group of Eight industrialized nations. If failed states are ever to be helped, the G8 will have to adopt preferential trade policies, new laws against corruption, new international charters, and even conduct carefully calibrated military interventions. Collier has spent a lifetime working to end global poverty. In The Bottom Billion, he offers real hope for solving one of the great humanitarian crises facing the world today.


"Set to become a classic. Crammed with statistical nuggets and common sense, his book should be compulsory reading."
--The Economist

"If Sachs seems too saintly and Easterly too cynical, then Collier is the authentic old Africa hand: he knows the terrain and has a keen ear.... If you've ever found yourself on one side or the other of those arguments--and who hasn't?--then you simply must read this book."
--Niall Ferguson, The New York Times Book Review

"Rich in both analysis and recommendations.... Read this book. You will learn much you do not know. It will also change the way you look at the tragedy of persistent poverty in a world of plenty."
--Financial Times

The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Mode...

PartNumber: 9780674060494

One of the most momentous stories of the last century is Chinas rise from a self-satisfied, anti-modern, decaying society into a global power that promises to one day rival the United States. Chiang Kai-shek, an autocratic, larger-than-life figure, dominates this story. A modernist as well as a neo-Confucianist, Chiang was a man of war who led the most ancient and populous country in the world through a quarter century of bloody revolutions, civil conflict, and wars of resistance against Japanese aggression.

In 1949, when he was defeated by Mao Zedonghis archrival for leadership of Chinahe fled to Taiwan, where he ruled for another twenty-five years. Playing a key role in the cold war with China, Chiang suppressed opposition with his white terror, controlled inflation and corruption, carried out land reform, and raised personal income, health, and educational levels on the island. Consciously or not, he set the stage for Taiwans evolution of a Chinese model of democratic modernization.

Drawing heavily on Chinese sources including Chiangs diaries, The Generalissimo provides the most lively, sweeping, and objective biography yet of a man whose length of uninterrupted, active engagement at the highest levels in the march of history is excelled by few, if any, in modern history. Jay Taylor shows a man who was exceedingly ruthless and temperamental but who was also courageous and conscientious in matters of state. Revealing fascinating aspects of Chiangs life, Taylor provides penetrating insight into the dynamics of the past that lie behind the struggle for modernity of mainland China and its relationship with Taiwan.


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