Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (W.W. Norton), by Kwame Anthony Appiah, Laurance S. Rockefeller professor of philosophy at Princeton University, has won the Council’s sixth annual Arthur Ross Book Award for the best book published in the past two years on international affairs. Appiah will receive $25,000 and be honored at the Council on Foreign Relations this June.
Cosmopolitanism is a thoughtful examination of the historic influence of this ancient philosophy, and the potential this philosophy has to usher in a new era of global understanding. “Appiah provides a philosopher’s perspective on what ought to be the ethical concerns permeating U.S. policy in today’s fractious world. From historical experiences and his own trenchant thinking, he draws lessons for creating a tolerant and humanistic international environment,” said Foreign Affairs Editor James F. Hoge, who chaired the selection committee.
The silver medal and a prize of $10,000 has been awarded to historian Robert L. Beisner for Dean Acheson: A Life in the Cold War (Oxford University Press). This expertly researched biography of one of the most influential secretaries of state in U.S. history explores not only major triumphs and missteps, but also the unpredictable friendship between Acheson and President Harry S. Truman.
The jury also awarded an honorable mention and $5,000 to Thomas Ricks, senior Pentagon correspondent for the Washington Post, for Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq (The Penguin Press). Through candid on-the-record interviews combined with extensive on-the-ground reporting, Ricks reveals an exclusive look into the planning and execution of the American military invasion in Iraq.
Additional esteemed shortlist nominees included Robert Fisk for The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East (Knopf), Odd Arne Westad for The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (Cambridge University Press), and Lawrence Wright for The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (Knopf).
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.
Director, Carnegie Moscow Center
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
Rohr Professor of Pacific International Relations, University of California, San Diego
Michael A. McFaul
Director, Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Stanford University
Stephen M. Walt
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Vice Chairman, United Nations Association of the U.S.A.
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