Book on Radical Islam and Terror by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon Wins the Council’s 2004 Arthur Ross Book Award

May 7, 2004 2:34 pm (EST)

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May 5, 2004 - The Age of Sacred Terror (Random House), by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, former director and senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council, has won the Council’s third annual Arthur Ross Book Award, the largest U.S. award for a book on international affairs. The authors will receive $10,000 and be honored at the Council on Foreign Relations this June.

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The award was given to Benjamin and Simon for their comprehensive analysis of the growth of radical Islam from its medieval origins to today, and for providing essential insights into the philosophical underpinnings of al-Qaeda and its growing appeal in the Islamic world. The authors, drawing on their years of counterterrorism work at the NSC, describe America’s efforts to combat the most innovative and dangerous terrorist group ever, explore why America was unable to defend itself against it, and what the United States must do to stop this new threat.

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The silver medal and a prize of $5000 has been awarded to British senior diplomat Robert Cooper for The Breaking of Nations (Atlantic Monthly Press), a thought-provoking examination of the transition of the traditional nation to a “post-modern” state and its implications on security and foreign policy. The jury also awarded an honorable mention to Brookings Senior Fellow Ivo Daalder and Council Director of Studies James Lindsay for America Unbound (Brookings Institution Press), a sweeping analysis of U.S. foreign policy during the first years of the Bush administration.

“It was an unusually strong year for books on foreign policy, and the jury considered a number of truly excellent books,” said jury chairman Morton Janklow. “We feel the books we selected are outstanding examples of intelligent, thought-provoking and insightful writing on the key foreign policy issues of today.”

The winners were selected by a prestigious jury chaired by renowned literary figure Morton Janklow (a full listing of the jury is at

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The Council on Foreign Relations’ Arthur Ross Book Award was endowed by Arthur Ross in 2001 to honor non-fiction works, in English or translation, that merit special attention for: bringing forth new information that can change our understanding of events or problems; developing analytical approaches that allow new and different insights into a key issue; or providing new ideas that help resolve foreign policy problems.

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.

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Contact: Marie X. Strauss, Communications, 212-434-9536 or [email protected]


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