The Unexpected War Wins Shaughnessy Cohen Prize

    Writers' Trust Honours Book Critical of Canada's Handling of War in

    OTTAWA, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - The Writers' Trust of Canada tonight announced
that Janice Gross Stein and Eugene Lang have won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize
for Political Writing for their book The Unexpected War: Canada in Kandahar,
published by Viking Canada. The $15,000 prize was awarded at the Politics and
the Pen gala dinner event this evening at the Fairmont Château Laurier.
    The authors will share Canada's most prestigious literary award for
political writing, which is sponsored by CTVglobemedia and supported by the
Politics and the Pen gala dinner.
    The jury of historian Robert Bothwell, Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence
Martin, and freelance writer and broadcaster Brigitte Pellerin selected the
winner. Their citation said of the winning book:

     The Unexpected War takes us inside the doors of our federal government
     to tell an untold story - the genesis of Canada's participation in the
     war in Afghanistan. It is a book which charts new ground, bringing us
     revelation upon revelation about this most significant story. With its
     clarity, its compelling prose, its ring of authenticity, The Unexpected
     War does what great books of non-fiction do. It illuminates our times.

    The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing was established in
honour of the outspoken and popular member of Parliament from Windsor,
Ontario, who died on December 9, 1998.
    Now in its eighth year, the prize is awarded annually to a non-fiction
book that captures a political subject of interest to Canadian readers and
enhances understanding of the issue. The winning work combines compelling new
insights with a depth of research and is of significant literary merit. Strong
consideration is given to books that, in the opinion of the jury, have the
potential to shape or influence Canadian political life.

    Janice Gross Stein is the Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management in
the Department of Political Science and the director of the Munk Centre for
International Studies at the University of Toronto. She is a fellow of the
Royal Society of Canada and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2007. Her
previous publications include Networks of Knowledge and The Cult of
Efficiency. Stein lives in Toronto.

    Eugene Lang is a public policy consultant and writer. From 2002 to 2006
he served as chief of staff to two ministers of national defence. Lang is a
frequent contributor to the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star, and is
co-author of Turning Point: Moving Beyond Neoconservatism. He lives in Ottawa.

    Other finalists for this year's Shaughnessy Cohen Prize, announced on
January 30, 2008, receive $2,000 each:

    -   Clive Doucet (Ottawa) for Urban Meltdown: Cities, Climate Change and
        Politics as Usual, published by New Society Publishers
    -   Richard Gwyn (Toronto) for John A: The Man Who Made Us; The Life and
        Times of John A. Macdonald, Volume One: 1815-1867, published by
        Random House Canada
    -   Andrea Mandel-Campbell (Toronto) for Why Mexicans Don't Drink Molson,
        published by Douglas & McIntyre
    -   David E. Smith (Regina) for The People's House of Commons: Theories
        of Democracy in Contention, published by University of Toronto Press

    Politics and the Pen is the highlight of the winter social calendar in
the nation's capital and an important annual fundraising event benefiting the
Writers' Trust. Tonight's event was held at the Fairmont Château Laurier. Mike
Duffy, Ottawa editor for CTV NewsNet, and Jane Taber, senior political writer
for The Globe and Mail, hosted the event. Microsoft Canada sponsors the
Politics and the Pen dinner, and MTSAllstream Inc. sponsors the Politics and
the Pen pre-dinner and post-dinner receptions.
    For further information about the Writers' Trust and this year's winners,
and to win a set of this year's nominated titles, please visit

For further information:

For further information: interview opportunities and photo requests,
please contact: Erin O'Reilly at Media Profile, (416) 342-1811 or; Stephanie Farrington at Humphreys Public Affairs Group,
(778) 230-1500, cell (613) 230-3155 or

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