Five Finalists Chosen for the 2012 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award

(New York, August 7, 2012) Five pioneering books recognized for their outstanding contributions to the understanding of contemporary Asia have been chosen as finalists for the 2012 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award. The finalists were selected from nearly 90 nominations submitted by U.S. and Asia-based publishers for books published in 2011. The books are:

  • Cambodia’s Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land by Joel Brinkley (PublicAffairs)
  • China in Ten Words by Yu Hua (Pantheon Books)
  • Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China by Ezra Vogel (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)
  • Water: Asia’s New Battleground by Brahma Chellaney (Georgetown University Press)
  • Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia by Thant Myint-U (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

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, journalism, and publishing from India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States.

“It is now an accepted premise that Asia—with more than half of the world’s population, along with half of world trade and half the global economy—will play a central role in shaping the future of our world,” said Suzanne DiMaggio, Vice President of Asia Society’s Global Policy Programs. “The five finalists for the 2012 Bernard Schwartz Book Award each, in different ways, shed light on important trends, challenges, and opportunities taking place in Asia. They are required reading for all who want to better understand this dynamic region.”

The winning author of the 2012 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award, who will be awarded a $20,000 prize, and two honorable mentions, each receiving a $2,000 prize, will be named in September. A special event in their honor will be held at Asia Society’s New York City headquarters in late fall 2012.

Previous years’ winners of the Book Award include Richard McGregor for The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers (2011), 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 can be found at:

— 2012 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), Singapore’s Ambassador-At-Large; Chairman, Centre for International Law; Rector, Tembusu College at the National University of Singapore

Ashok Advani, Chairman, Publisher, and Founder, Business India Group of Publications

James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic

Susan Glasser, Editor-in-Chief, Foreign Policy

Kazuo Ogoura, Secretary General, Council of Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee

Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Associate Professor, International Relations at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand; Director, Institute of Security and International Studies, Bangkok

Susan Shirk, Director, Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, and Ho Miu Lam professor of China and Pacific Relations, University of California, San Diego

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

Asia Society is the leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, the Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to address present challenges and create a shared future.

Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution with headquarters in New York, centers in Hong Kong and Houston, and affiliated offices in Los Angeles, Manila, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, and Washington, DC.