Every year, Foreign Policy and the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto award the Lionel Gelber Prize for the year’s best foreign affairs book, and this year I’m one of the judges. They’ve just released the long list of titles in the running, which we’ve listed below with a link to their amazon page.
The hardest part of being on a book jury isn’t reading so many books. It’s making the sometimes agonizing choices as you winnow a long list to a short list and then try to pick a winner. But there’s not a book on this list that I regret spending time with.
Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and James A. Robinson (Cambridge, Massachusetts), published by Random House.
Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956 by Anne Applebaum (Washington, D.C. and Poland), published by Signal Editions.
The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics by Paul Bracken (Connecticut), published by Times Books.
The Twilight War: The Secret History of America’s Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran by David Crist (Potomac, Maryland), published by The Penguin Press.
Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland (New York, New York), published by The Penguin Press.
The Endgame: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Iraq, from George W. Bush to Barack Obama by Michael R. Gordon (Washington, D.C.) and General Bernard E. Trainor (Potomac Falls, Virginia), published by Pantheon Books.
Ghosts of Empire: Britain’s Legacies in the Modern World by Kwasi Kwarteng (London, England), published by Public Affairs.
Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam by Fredrik Logevall (Ithaca, NY), published by Random House.
From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia by Pankaj Mishra (London, England), published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Soldaten: On Fighting, Killing and Dying by Sonke Neitzel (London, England) and Harald Welzer (Germany), published by Signal Editions.
The Wars For Asia: 1911-1949 by S.C.M. Paine (Newport, Rhode Island), published by Cambridge University Press.
Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy by Andrew Preston (Cambridge, England), published by Alfred A. Knopf.
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