Over the next few weeks, we're going to be featuring one interview per day with the authors of the books nominated for this year's Lionel Gelber Prize, a literary award for the year's best non-fiction book in English on foreign affairs. The award is sponsored by the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto in cooperation with Foreign Policy. The interviews are conducted by Rob Steiner, former Wall Street Journal correspondent and director of fellowships in international journalism at the Munk School.
Today's author is Fredrik Logevall. Here's the jury's citation for Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam:
In Embers of War, Fredrik Logevall describes the tragedy of Vietnam in the 20th Century, from its invisibility at the 1919 Paris peace conference to its recapture by the French after 1945, and ultimately its sacrifice on the altar of the Cold War in the 1960s. This is an epic tale of missed opportunity, egotism and waste that makes the case for the role of dumbheadedness, more than evil, in the course of human affairs. Deeply detailed and dramatically powerful, Embers of War is a potent cautionary tale.