Author Samantha Power Wins Council’s Second Annual Arthur Ross Book Award

April 30, 2003

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NEW YORK, April 30, 2003 - Samantha Power, author of “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide (Basic Books), has won the Council’s second annual Arthur Ross Book Award, the largest U.S. award for a book on international affairs. As gold medalist, she will receive $10,000 and be honored at a dinner at the Council on Foreign Relations in June.

As Power makes clear in this compelling volume, genocide is the worst conceivable evil in international affairs, as it involves the slaughter of populations based simply on their ethnic, religious, or cultural identity. Her wide-ranging, carefully informed study of the politics surrounding U.S. policy takes what appears to be a straightforward moral issue - preventing genocide - and demonstrates how time and again the United States has failed to uphold this basic principle. She concludes that it is a moral imperative for the West, and the United States in particular, to prevent genocide and to punish those who perpetrate it.

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Margaret MacMillan, author of Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World (Random House), is the silver medalist and will receive $5,000. Philip Bobbitt, author of The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History (Alfred A. Knopf), has won honorable mention.

The winners were selected by a prestigious jury consisting of leading experts from different fields. Chaired by renowned literary figure Morton L. Janklow, the jury includes Lael Brainard, Rose Gottemoeller, Stanley Hoffmann, James Hoge, Robert Kagan, and Stephen Walt.

The award was endowed by Arthur Ross in 2001 to honor a non-fiction work from any recent year, in English or in translation, which merits special attention for its analysis of important events, its contribution to solving pressing political or economic problems, or its impact in galvanizing new thinking about the way long-standing issues of international concern are viewed.

Established in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations is a nonpartisan membership organization, publisher, and think tank, dedicated to increasing America’s understanding of the world and contributing ideas to U.S. foreign policy. The Council accomplishes this mainly by promoting constructive debates and discussions, clarifying world issues, and publishing Foreign Affairs, the leading journal on global issues.


Contact: Marie X. Strauss, Communications, (212) 434-9536

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Genocide and Mass Atrocities

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