The World's Most Prestigious Prize: The Inside Story of the Nobel Peace Prize

ISBN : 9780198841876

Geir Lundestad
240 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Sep 2019
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  • The first-ever, inside account of the history of the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Unique insight from a distinguished historian who was also part of the Nobel selection process
  • Unprecedented, fascinating, and revelatory

The World's Most Prestigious Prize: The Inside Story of the Nobel Peace Prize is a fascinating, insider account of the Nobel Peace Prize. Drawing on unprecedented access to the Norwegian Nobel Institute's vast archive, it offers a gripping account of the founding of the prize, as well as its highs and lows, triumphs and disasters, over the last one-hundred-and-twenty years. But more than that, the book also draws on the author's unique insight during his twenty-five years as Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute and Secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. It reveals the real story of all the laureates of that period - some of them among the most controversial in the history of the prize (Gorbachev, Arafat, Peres and Rabin, Mandela and De Klerk, Obama, and Liu Xiaobo) - and exactly why they came to receive the prize.
Despite all that has been written about the Nobel Peace Prize, this is the first-ever account written by a prominent insider in the Nobel system.


1. Introduction
2. Alfred Nobel and the Will
3. The Nobel Peace Prize, 1901-1914, Arbitration
4. The Nobel Peace Prize, 1919-39, The League of Nations
5. The Nobel Peace Prize, 1945-2018, The United Nations
6. Ten portraits, 1990- 2012
7. Conclusions
List of Peace Prize laureates

About the author: 

Geir Lundestad was the Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute from 1990-2014 and Adjunct Professor of International History, University of Oslo from 1991-2014.

"Lundestad makes an eloquent case that the prize has a universal appeal, grounded in humanitarian and nonviolent ideals on which no country or civilization holds a monopoly." - Foreign Affairs

"Informative." - Dan Kaplan, Booklist

"A fine [...] introduction to and overview of the Nobel Peace Prize, offering some insight into its workings and nature ... it also offers good insight into the changing nature of the peace movement(s) across the decades, and the different efforts to find and achieve forms of peace." - M.A. Orthofer, Complete Review

"Fascinating... a unique insight into the prize that makes compelling reading." - Paradigm Explorer

"Gier Lundestad is a distinguished historian who served for twenty-five years as the executive director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute. In this unique volume, he writes the history of the Nobel Peace Prize, coupling fascinating vignettes of his interactions with the winners Mikhail Gorbachev and Barack Obama, among others with incisive reflections of a mature scholar of international relations." - Melvyn P. Leffler, Emeritus Professor of American History at the University of Virginia

"This is a fascinating book... a unique insight into the Prize that makes compelling reading." - David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

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