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 Andrew Preston. Here's the jury's citation for Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy:
Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith follows the remarkable influence of Christian and then Jewish religious belief on the conduct of American foreign policy through the formation of the American colonies to present times. Andrew Preston delivers a richly documented and often surprising portrait of ‘God's hand' on the tiller of U.S. initiatives from the Middle East to the Philippines, from Lincoln to George W. Bush. The formal separation of church and state in the United States belies their union in the men and women who govern it.
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