For the second time in less than a year, Gary Bass, a professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University, has won a major Canadian non-fiction prize.
The 45-year-old Bass was awarded the Cundill Prize in Historical Literature at McGill on Thursday at a gala ceremony in Toronto.
The prize is worth $75,000 (U.S.), making it one of the richest prizes in non-fiction in the world.
His book The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide details a dark chapter in American geopolitics in which Henry Kissinger, then U.S. national security advisor, ignored a series of cables from a diplomat named Archer Blood claiming Pakistan was committing "genocide" against Bengalis in Eastern Pakistan.
In March, Bass took home the Lionel Gelber Prize for the same book.
"It would be good for people to remember this important chapter of the Cold War," said Bass in a press release announcing his win. "Every reader will judge Nixon's and Kissinger's actions in their own way, and it's not up to me to dictate what they should take away from it, but at least they should be aware of the core facts, and then we can have that debate properly."
The other finalists for the prize, which was established in 2008 by McGill alumnus F. Peter Cundill, were Richard Overy for The Bombing War: Europe 1939-45 and David Van Reybrouck for Congo: The Epic History of a People. They each receive $10,000.
This year's jury, who considered 165 titles submitted by 70 publishers from around the world, was comprised of author and journalist David Frum; Marla R. Miller, a professor at the University of Massachusetts; Stuart Schwartz, a former winner of the prize; Thomas H.B. Symons, professor emeritus at Trent University; and Althia Raj, Huffington Post Canada's Ottawa Bureau Chief.