Professor Arne Westad, a prominent academic at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), has won the most prestigious US Asian Studies book prize, the Asia Society’s Bernhard Schwartz Book Award, for his new book on China’s international history.
Professor Westad, Director of LSE IDEAS and professor of international history, was today (Thursday 24 October) awarded the $20,000 prize by the Asia Society for his book Restless Empire: China and the World since 1750.
The awards recognise the book’s outstanding contribution to the understanding of Asia. Over 100 books were submitted and finalists were selected by a jury composed of a number leading experts in journalism, academia, policy and publishing from Asia and the United States.
Dr Carol Gluck, George Sansom Professor of History at Columbia University and co-chair of the jury, called the book “a magnetic account of China over the past 300 years, showing that China has always been in the world and that the world has always been in China. The links between past and present are eye-opening, persuasive and important.”
A special event will be held in honour of Professor Westad at Asia Society’s New York City headquarters later this year.
Professor Westad is also the recipient of the US Bancroft book award, which he won in 2006 for his publication The Global Cold War: Third World interventions and the making of our times. The Bancroft Prize is awarded annually to authors of books of exceptional merit and is generally regarded as the most prominent award for US history awarded in the United States.
Arne Westad is the first historian to have won both the Bancroft and the Asia Society Bernard Schwartz book awards.
Professor Westad said: “I am delighted to have won the Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award for 2013. With Restless Empire I aimed to show how China’s worldview and Chinese attitudes have evolved. It is a great joy to know that the end result is well received.”
More on Restless Empire: China and the World since 1750 at http://restlessempire.com/
24 October 2013