With our friends at the Center of the American Experiment we are co-sponsoring the appearance of National Review senior editor Jay Nordlinger for a lunch presentation on his new book, Peace, They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in the World. Jay will be appearing at the downtown Minneapolis Hilton at 1001 Marquette Avenue South on Friday, April 20, at noon. The Center’s Web page on the event is here; register online here.
Jay’s book covers everything you’ve ever wanted to know about more than 100 years of Nobel laureates, a cast stretching (in character) all the way from Mother Teresa to such unpeaceable types as Le Duc Tho and Yasser Arafat. And let us not forget Rigoberta Menchú, author of the celebrated book that is as genuine as a three dollar bill. What about the fact, as Jay asks, that the committee gave the prize to her “as an advocate of the [Guatamalan Communist] guerillas and their violence–a committee for whom Gandhi might not have been pure enough in his pacifism?” Well, we obviously have a lot to talk about.
Jay is a gifted writer and universally respected figure among conservatives. His new book has been favorably reviewed by the great historian Andrew Roberts. Roberts writes;
In an absorbingly well-researched, well-written and thoughtful history of the Peace Prize, the distinguished National Review senior editor and New Criterion writer Jay Nordlinger looks with a critical but not jaundiced eye at the laureates who have been feted in Oslo, Norway, every December since 1901, and has come up with a number of remarkable conclusions. In the course of his deliberations he has thought deeply about what genuinely constitutes peace, and whether several of the laureates have genuinely fulfilled the stipulation in Alfred Nobel’s will that the committee should find “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” Al Gore, anybody?
Roberts isn’t the only respected author to have praised the book warmly. Lou Cannon applauds the book in a review giving voice to the “surprised by joy” feeling he experienced reading it: “This delightful book entertained me and enriched my knowledge. How many books do that? If you pick it up, I defy you to put it down until you’ve finished it.”
The price of the lunch is $30 for members of the Center, $35 for nonmembers. In addition to online registration, you can contact Peter Zeller via email (Peter.Zeller at AmericanExperiment.org) or telephone (612-338-3605) to make a reservation. As at most Center events, scholarships are available to support the attendance of students and teachers. Just check in with Peter and we will get it taken care of. In any event, please plan on joining us on April 20.