Andrew Preston Wins The 2013 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction

TORONTO, March 4, 2013 /CNW/ – The Winner of The 2013 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction is Andrew Preston (Cambridge, England) for Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy, published by Knopf Canada. Preston teaches American history and international relations history at Cambridge University, where he is a fellow of Clare College. Before Cambridge, he taught history and international studies at Yale University. He has also taught at universities in Canada and Switzerland and has been a fellow at the Cold War Studies Program at the London School of Economics. He was born in Ontario and received his BA from the University of Toronto.

Jury Citation: “Fluently written, comprehensively researched, and scrupulously balanced, Andrew Preston’s Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith describes how the foreign policy of the United States has been and is influenced, alternately decisively and marginally, by the fact that so many Americans regard themselves as a people chosen to do God’s work to others and because American leaders all the way from Lincoln to George W. Bush have used religious convictions to justify political acts. Showing that the centrality of religion in American life is by no means unique to fundamentalists and neo-conservatives, this important work has such chapter titles as “High Priests of the Cold War” and “A Judeo-Christian Foreign Policy,” which convey Preston’s originality and, indeed, his bravery.

During the course of a six-week cycle of publicity and promotion, over 80% of all English-speaking Canadians, over the age of twelve, learned about the shortlisted authors and their books. Andrew Preston was awarded a commemorative crystal trophy and a prize of $25,000. The remaining finalists — Carol Bishop-Gwyn, Tim Cook, Sandra Djwa, and Ross King, were each awarded $2,000.

The Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction recognizes excellence in Canadian non-fiction writing and emphasizes the development of the careers of the authors it celebrates. Andrew Preston will tour select cities across Canada on behalf of RBC Wealth Management, presenting sponsor of the prize; he will be invited to speak at an event in his honour at Toronto’s International Festival of Authors and he, together with all of the 2013 prize finalists, will be invited to headline Litfest’s Charles Taylor Prize gala this fall in Edmonton, Alberta.

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SOURCE Charles Taylor Prize

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