|Noreen Taylor and Andrew Preston - photo George Socka|
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.
Today's announcement marks the twelfth awarding of the prestigious prize. The 2013 prize jurors are broadcast executive Susanne Boyce, award-winning author and newspaper columnist Richard Gwyn, and author/educator Joseph Kertes. In determining their shortlist, the jury read and reviewed 129 Canadian-authored non-fiction books submitted by 43 publishers from around the world.
The trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation are Michael Bradley (Toronto), Judith Mappin (Montréal), David Staines (Ottawa), and Noreen Taylor (Toronto).
The Presenting Sponsor of The Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction is RBC Wealth Management. http://www.rbcwealthmanagement.com/
The Major Sponsor of The Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction is Metropia. www.metropia.ca/about.php
Media sponsors are exclusive newspaper sponsor The Globe and Mail, Canada Newswire (CNW) Group, CBC Books and CBC Radio One, The Huffington Post Canada, Maclean's magazine, and Quill & Quire magazine.
In-Kind sponsors are Authors at Harbourfront Centre, Ben McNally Books, Event Source, Indigo Books and Music, The King Edward hotel, and Kobo Inc. For more information please visit: www.thecharlestaylorprize.ca