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Tony Judt’s Postwar Wins the Council’s 2006 Arthur Ross Book Award

May 8, 2006
Council on Foreign Relations


May 8, 2006Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 (Penguin Press), by Tony Judt, professor and director of New York University’s Remarque Institute, has won the Council’s fifth annual Arthur Ross Book Award for the best book published in the past two years on international affairs. Judt will receive $25,000 and be honored at the Council on Foreign Relations this June.

Postwar is an insightful and animated chronicle of Europe since the fall of Berlin that covers the broad strokes as well as the fine details of the years 1945–2005. “Judt’s magisterial narrative covers the politics, and economics, the culture and the intellectual ferment of the era,” said Foreign Affairs Editor James F. Hoge, who chaired the selection committee. “This will be the definitive history of modern Europe for some time to come.”

The silver medal and a prize of $10,000 has been awarded to Olivier Roy, research director at the CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research), for Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah (Columbia University Press). The book is an exegesis of the movement of Islam beyond traditional borders and its unwitting westernization. Roy argues that the Islamic revival results from the efforts of westernized Muslims to assert their identity in a non-Muslim context.

The jury also awarded an honorable mention and $5,000 to the New Yorker’s George Packer for The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). In a powerful retelling of how the United States set about changing the history of the Middle East and became ensnared in a guerilla war in Iraq, Packer brings to life the people and ideas that created the Bush administration’s war policy.

Additional esteemed shortlist nominees included Robert Pape’s Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (Random House) and Stephen M. Walt’s Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy (W.W. Norton).

The Council on Foreign Relations’ Arthur Ross Book Award is the most significant award for a book on international affairs.  It was endowed by 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.

2006 JURY

Lael Brainard
Senior Fellow, Economic and Foreign Policy Studies
The Brookings Institution

Rose Gottemoeller
Director of Carnegie Moscow Center
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Stanley Hoffmann
Paul & Catherine Buttenwieser University Professor
Harvard University

James F. Hoge, Jr. (Chairman)
Peter G. Peterson Chair & Editor
Foreign Affairs

Robert W. Kagan
Senior Associate
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Miles Kahler
Rohr Professor of International Relations
University of California, San Diego

Michael A. McFaul
Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow
Hoover Institution

Arthur Ross*
Vice Chairman
United Nations Association of the U.S.A.

*ex officio

Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations is an independent, national membership organization and a nonpartisan center for scholars dedicated to producing and disseminating ideas so that individual and corporate members, as well as policymakers, journalists, students, and interested citizens in the United States and other countries, can better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other governments. 

Contact: Kate Zimmerman, Communications, 212-434-9537 or