Asia Society Announces Five Finalists for 2009 Bernard Schwartz Book Award

Asia Society today announced five finalists for the first annual Bernard Schwartz Book Award.  The award recognizes nonfiction books offering outstanding contributions and new perspectives on understanding contemporary Asia or U.S.-Asia relations. In keeping with the Asia Society’s mission, the award is designed to further public awareness of the changes taking place in Asia and the implications these changes have for the wider world. The award also intends to raise the profile of authors making a meaningful contribution to this dialogue.   

“We are delighted to announce the selection of these five outstanding books as finalists for the Bernard Schwartz Book Award,” said Asia Society President Vishakha N. Desai, “And hope that the award process will help raise awareness in the United States and the English speaking world of critical issues facing the Asia-Pacific region.”

The following books were selected by a jury panel of experts for their exceptional contributions to the understanding of contemporary Asia or U.S.-Asia relations.  One winner will be chosen from among these finalists and announced in September 2009.  

2009 Finalists

William W. Grimes:
Currency and Contest in East Asia: The Great Power Politics of Financial Regionalism
(Cornell University Press)

David M. Lampton:
The Three Faces of Chinese Power: Might, Money, and Minds
(University of California Press)

Duncan McCargo:
Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand
(Cornell University Press)

Philip P. Pan:
Out of Mao's Shadow: The Struggle for the Soul of a New China
(Simon & Schuster)

Ahmed Rashid:

Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia

(Penguin Group USA)

Jury Members

Carol Gluck (Co-chair)

George Sansom Professor of History, Columbia University

Tommy T.B. Koh (Co-chair)

Ambassador-At-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri

Senior Editor, Hindustan Times

Han Sung-Joo

Professor Emeritus, Korea University; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, ROK

C. Raja Mohan

Professor, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Andrew J. Nathan
Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science, Columbia University

Kazuo Ogoura
President, Japan Foundation

Martha Brill Olcott
Senior Associate, Russian & Eurasian Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Susan Shirk

Director, University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, UC-San Diego

M. Hadi Soesastro
Senior Fellow, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta; Adjunct Professor, The Australian National University, Canberra

Simon Tay
Bernard Schwartz Fellow (2008-2009), Asia Society; Chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs; Professor, National University of Singapore

For additional information on the award, please contact:

Laura Chang
Coordinator, Bernard Schwartz Book Award

Asia Society
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021

Tel: 212-327-9344

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About Asia Society

Asia Society is the leading global organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States. We seek to enhance dialogue, encourage creative expression, and generate new ideas across the fields of policy, business, education, arts, and culture. Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Seoul, and Washington, DC. On the web at