Announcing the Shortlist for the 2022 Lionel Gelber Prize

Five books in contention for the world’s best non-fiction book in English on foreign affairs

TORONTO and WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Judith Gelber, Chair of the Lionel Gelber Prize Board, announces the shortlist for the 2022 Lionel Gelber Prize as follows:

IMAGE: The Lionel Gelber Prize; Foreign Policy; Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
IMAGE: The Lionel Gelber Prize; Foreign Policy; Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
  • To End a Plague: America’s Fight to Defeat AIDS in Africa by Emily Bass (Public Affairs, Hachette Book Group)
  • The Long Game: China’s Grand Strategy to Displace American Order by Rush Doshi (Oxford University Press)
  • Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe by Niall Ferguson (Penguin Random House)
  • The American War in Afghanistan: A History by Carter Malkasian (Oxford University Press)
  • In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918–1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust by Jeffrey Veidlinger (HarperCollins)

"This year’s shortlisted books provide deep insights about our recent past with valuable lessons for our collective future. The shortlisted books grapple with pandemics and disasters; explore how violent riots laid the foundation for genocide; detail the complicated history of a decades-long conflict and study the shifting global order from the perspective of an emerging global superpower. We extend our deep thanks to the Lionel Gelber Prize jury for their thoughtful selections for this year’s prize," said Judith Gelber, Chair of the Lionel Gelber Prize Board.

This year’s shortlist was selected by the 2022 Lionel Gelber Prize Jury: Janice Gross Stein, Jury Chair (Toronto), Janine di Giovanni (New York), Francis J. Gavin (Washington), James Goldgeier (Washington), and Doug Saunders (Toronto).

Winner Announcement:
The winner will be announced on April 12, 2022. The winning author will take part in an online event hosted by Foreign Policy and the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy on May 10th, 2022. Beginning Tuesday, March 8, 2022, feature interviews with each of the finalists will be released every Tuesday on the Lionel Gelber Prize website, the Munk School’s YouTube channel, and on Apple podcasts.

About The Lionel Gelber Prize:
The Lionel Gelber Prize, a literary award for the world’s best non-fiction book in English on foreign affairs, was founded in 1989 by Canadian diplomat Lionel Gelber. A cash prize of $15,000 is awarded to the winner. The award is presented annually by University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, in partnership with Foreign Policy magazine. For further information, please visit: or follow on Facebook and Twitter @gelberprize.

The 2022 Lionel Gelber Prize – Shortlisted Books and Authors

Emily Bass, To End a Plague: America’s Fight to Defeat AIDS in Africa (Public Affairs/Hachette Book Group)

Jury comment: "From Washington to Kampala, To End a Plague tells the story of how the Bush administration marshalled support for PEPFAR, an ambitious plan to fight AIDS in Africa. Drawing on the testimonials of advocates, doctors, and policymakers, Bass traces the long road from AIDS activism to the rollout of antiretrovirals. Although PEPFAR wasn’t perfect, it provided a massive investment and a roadmap for how to mobilize against AIDS for the long haul. In doing so, it also taught an important lesson that we have not yet learned: responding to a dire public health threat is important wherever it occurs — a pandemic threatens us all."

Emily Bass has spent more than twenty years writing about and working on HIV/AIDS in America and East and Southern Africa. Her writing has appeared in numerous books and publications including Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, The Lancet, Esquire, and n+1, and she has received a notable mention in Best American Essays. A lifelong social justice activist, Bass has served as an external expert for the World Health Organization and a member of the What Would an HIV Doula Do collective. She is the recipient of a Fulbright journalism fellowship and a Martin Duberman Visiting Research Fellowship from the New York Public Library. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Rush Doshi, The Long Game: China’s Grand Strategy to Displace American Order (Oxford University Press)

Jury comment: "Is the balance of power shifting away from U.S. hegemony to a new global order, where China takes the lead? Drawing on primary Chinese language sources, Rush Doshi traces the evolution of China’s approach from U.S. strategic partner to strategic competitor in The Long Game: China’s Grand Strategy to Displace American Order. Doshi outlines China’s national strategy since the end of the Cold War, and uncovers Beijing’s long game — to become a technological superpower that overtakes the United States.  Doshi’s book provides a comprehensive plan for a US response, making it essential reading for policymakers in Washington and beyond."

Rush Doshi is the founding director of the Brookings China Strategy Initiative and a fellow (on leave) at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center. Previously, he was a member of the Asia policy working groups for the Biden and Clinton presidential campaigns and a Fulbright Fellow in China. His research has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, and International Organization, among other publications. Proficient in Mandarin, Doshi received his PhD from Harvard University focusing on Chinese foreign policy and his bachelor’s from Princeton University. He is currently serving as Director for China on the Biden Administration’s National Security Council (NSC), but this work was completed before his government service, is based entirely on open sources, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government or NSC.

Niall Ferguson, Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe (Penguin Random House)

Jury comment: "Why are we so slow to learn from the disasters of the past? In Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, historian Niall Ferguson examines plagues and catastrophes throughout human history and explores how we can learn from them to anticipate future crises. Ferguson issues a clarion call to improve our governance, especially the middle managers who so often fail to respond to complex challenges, and the bureaucratic dysfunction that impedes adaptability. A must read for leaders and policymakers preparing for the next pandemic."

Niall Ferguson is a world renowned historian. He is the author of sixteen books, including Civilization, The Great Degeneration, Kissinger, 1923–1968: The Idealist, and The Ascent of Money. He is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the managing director of Greenmantle LLC. He is also a regular Bloomberg Opinion columnist. His many prizes include the International Emmy for Best Documentary (2009), the Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Service (2010), and the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award (2016).

Carter Malkasian, The American War in Afghanistan: A History (Oxford University Press)

Jury Comment: "After two decades and four presidential administrations, America finally ended its war in Afghanistan. There is little doubt about the outcome: the United States spent twenty years pouring blood, sweat and treasure into a frustrating and complex war — one that it ultimately lost. In The American War in Afghanistan: A History, noted historian and former adviser to American military commanders in Afghanistan Carter Malkasian offers an extraordinary view into the dynamics of that led to America’s withdrawal and the Taliban’s return to power. Deeply researched and beautifully written, Malkasian’s account draws on primary sources and takes the reader through the complicated political, military and socio-cultural forces that shaped America’s longest war."

Carter Malkasian was the Special Assistant for Strategy to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford from 2015 to 2019. He has extensive experience working in Afghanistan through multiple deployments throughout the country. The highlight of his work is the nearly two years he spent in Garmser district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, as a State Department political officer and the district stabilization team leader. He is the author of War Comes to Garmser: Thirty Years of Conflict on the Afghan Frontier (Oxford) and Illusions of Victory: The Anbar Awakening and the Rise of the Islamic State (Oxford). He has a Ph.D. in history from Oxford and is fluent in Pashto.

Jeffrey Veidlinger, In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918–1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust (HarperCollins)

Jury comment: "What causes us to change our view of our neighbors of a different religion — transforming them, in only a few years, into invaders, enemies and threats? Twenty years before the Holocaust, more than a hundred thousand Jews were murdered in Ukraine by peasants, townsfolk and soldiers who blamed them for the turmoil of World War I and the Russian Revolution. These pogroms — violent riots that took place between 1918 and 1921 — were front-page news at the time but are largely forgotten today. In his book In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust, Jeffrey Veidlinger provides an impeccably researched account that transforms our understanding of this time, and of the factors that could cause this violent transformation to recur in ours."

Jeffrey Veidlinger, a graduate of McGill University, is a professor of history and Judaic studies and the director of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. His books, which include The Moscow State Yiddish Theater and In the Shadow of the Shtetl, have won a National Jewish Book Award, two Canadian Jewish Book Awards, a J. I. Segal Award and the Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History. Jeffrey Veidlinger lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Lani Krantz, Communications and Media Relations Specialist, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto, (647) 407-4384 (text preferred),


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