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Paul Collier's Bottom Billion Wins CFR's 2008 Arthur Ross Book Award

May 16, 2008
Council on Foreign Relations

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The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It (Oxford University Press), by Paul Collier, professor of economics and director of the Center for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University, has won the Council’s seventh annual Arthur Ross Book Award for the best book published on international affairs. Collier will receive $30,000 and be honored at the Council this June.

“Paul Collier explains why the world’s poorest fifty countries are failing and why traditional development programs haven’t lifted them up. His innovative recommendations make The Bottom Billion an indispensable new tool in alleviating poverty,” said Foreign Affairs Editor James F. Hoge, who chaired the selection committee.

The silver medal and a prize of $15,000 have been awarded to National Iranian American Council president Trita Parsi for Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States (Yale University Press). This unique and important book takes a closer look at the complicated triangular relations between Israel, Iran, and the United States that continue to shape the future of the Middle East.

The jury also awarded an honorable mention and $7,500 to historian Robert Dallek for Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power (HarperCollins Publisher). The expertly researched joint portrait of a pair of outsize leaders examines the unlikely partnership that dominated the world stage and changed the course of history.

Additional shortlist nominees included Joshua Kurlantzik for Charm Offensive: How China’s Soft Power is Transforming the World (Yale University Press), and Melvyn Leffler for For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

CFR’s Arthur Ross Book Award is the most significant award for a book on international affairs. It was endowed by the late Arthur Ross in 2001 to honor nonfiction works, in English or translation, that merit special attention for: bringing forth new information that changes our understanding of events or problems; developing analytical approaches that allow new and different insights into critical issues; or providing new ideas that help resolve foreign policy problems.

For more information, visit to www.cfr.org/arba.

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