Radoshes' "A Safe Haven" Wins 2009 Washington Institute Book Prize

Historians in the News

(LEESBURG, VA) -- A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel,Allis and Ronald Radosh's suspenseful, meticulously documented account of Truman's controversial decision to recognize the new state of Israel, has won the Gold Prize -- including a cash award of $30,000 -- in The Washington Institute's 2009 Book Prize competition, the research institution announced today.

The Book Prize, established to highlight new nonfiction books on the Middle East, is among the world's most lucrative literary awards. Winners were announced before an audience of more than 300 journalists, diplomats, scholars, and members of the Institute's Board of Trustees at the organization's annual Weinberg Founders Conference in Leesburg, Virginia.

The Institute also awarded the 2009 Silver Prize ($15,000) to Ali A. Allawi, a former defense and finance minister in postwar Iraq, for The Crisis of Islamic Civilization, a compelling insider's plea for the resurgence of Islam as a civilizing force that can meet the challenges of modernity and globalization. The Bronze Prize ($5,000) recipient is Amb. Martin Indyk for Innocent Abroad, an honest and personal account of Middle East statecraft during the Clinton administration.

"This year's award winners exemplify the very best principles of our prize," said Institute executive director Dr. Robert Satloff. "We have in these three books an outstanding collection of compelling scholarship, provocative argument, and powerful narrative."

Winners were chosen by a three-person jury that included Eliot Cohen, former State Department official and professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS); Kenneth Stein, director of Emory University's Institute for the Study of Modern Israel; and Lally Weymouth, senior editor of Newsweek magazine.

Prize Jury Commendation:
"To a past generation, Harry S. Truman was the American hero in the story of the birth of Israel; in more recent times, some have pointed to his ambivalence and even allege the presence of a casual antisemitism. Ronald and Allis Radosh restore balance to the historical record in this splendidly written and exhaustively researched page-turner. Without smoothing over Truman's flaws, the Radoshes demonstrate how this accidental president became Israel's indispensable friend and benefactor at a crucial moment. A Safe Havenshould be read not only as history, but as a practical primer in presidential calculation and courage."

About the Prize

The Washington Institute Book Prize is awarded annually to three outstanding new books that have illuminated the Middle East for American readers. With this prize, The Washington Institute seeks to acknowledge the very best new works on the region and encourage authors and publishers to produce books of unique quality and insight. Gold, Silver, and Bronze prizes are awarded annually to the three new books determined to have best broadened American understanding of the modern Middle East.

About The Washington Institute

The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution generating recommendations that advance a balanced and realistic understanding of U.S. interests in the Middle East. Under the guidance of a distinguished board of advisors and through active engagement with decisionmakers, the Institute seeks to impact the policymaking process with ideas that make a difference in the way Washington thinks about this vital region.

About the Authors
Allis and Ronald Radosh
Allis Radosh has taught at Sarah Lawrence College and the City University of New York, and served as a program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities. Ronald Radosh, professor emeritus of history at the City University of New York and adjunct senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, is the author or coauthor of fourteen books, including The Rosenberg File. He has written for the New Republic, National Review, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. A Safe Haven is the second book they have written together. They live in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

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