Five Finalists Chosen for the 2011 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award


NEW YORK, August 18, 2011 — Five pioneering books recognized for their outstanding contributions to the understanding of contemporary Asia have been chosen as finalists for the 2011 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award.

The finalists were selected from more than 110 nominations submitted by U.S. and Asia-based publishers for books published in 2010. The books are:

  • Mao’s Great Famine: A History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962 by Frank Dikötter (Walker & Company)

  • No Man’s Land: Globalization, Territory, and Clandestine Groups in Southeast Asia by Justin V. Hastings (Cornell University Press)

  • The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers by Richard McGregor (HarperCollins Publishers)

  • Ordering Power: Contentious Politics and Authoritarian Leviathans in Southeast Asia by Dan Slater (Cambridge University Press)

  • Paths to Development in Asia: South Korea, Vietnam, China, and Indonesia by Tuong Vu (Cambridge University Press)

The five finalists were selected by a jury co-chaired by Carol Gluck, George Sansom Professor of History at Columbia University, and Tommy T. B. Koh, Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large, and composed of leading experts and figures in policy, academia, and publishing from India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States.

“As Asia moves to the center of global affairs, understanding the existing and potential challenges and opportunities associated with this shift will grow all the more important,” said Asia Society President Vishakha N. Desai. “All five finalists represent the best research and scholarship on Asia published in 2010 and they should be required reading for anyone who wants to gain better insight into the changes taking place in Asia and the implications for the wider world.”

The winning author of the 2011 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award will be presented with a $20,000 prize at a special event at Asia Society’s New York City headquarters in November 2011. Two honorable mentions, each receiving a $2,000 prize, will also be named from among the five finalists.

Previous year’s winners of the Book Award include James C. Scott for The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (2010) and Duncan McCargo for Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand (2009).

More information about the Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award

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— 2011 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award Jury Members —

Carol Gluck (Co-Chair), George Sansom Professor of History, Columbia University

Tommy T.B. Koh (Co-Chair), Ambassador-at-Large, Singapore

Ashok Advani, Chairman and Publisher, India Business Group

William Kirby,T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies and Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration, Harvard University

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

Kazuo Ogoura,President, The Japan Foundation

Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Director, Institute of Security and International Studies, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Susan Shirk, Director, Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California, San Diego

Rizal Sukma, Executive Director, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta, Indonesia