Over the next few days, 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 S.C.M. Paine. Here's the jury's citation for The Wars of Asia: 1911-1949:
"The Wars for Asia: 1911 - 1949 brings a valuable sense of proportion to our understanding of the defining conflicts of the period, including Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour and the ultimate victory of Mao Tse Tung in China in 1949. S. C. M. Paine pulls our gaze away from the European theatre to the intense and extensive wars on the Chinese mainland which set the stage for Japan's entry into the Second World War, bringing the United States to the fronts, and creating the conditions for Mao's success. The ‘logic' of Japanese imperialism is deftly documented, and its consequence for the outcome of the Second World War itself clearly illuminated with sobering implications."