Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

Other Pages

David Crist's The Twilight War Awarded Top Honors in The Washington Institute Book Prize Competition

Also available in

(Washington, D.C.) -- Dr. David Crist's The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran, a thrilling investigative history of U.S.-Iran relations and the quasi-war between the two countries, has been awarded the gold medal in The Washington Institute's 2013 Book Prize competition, the research organization announced today. A senior historian for the U.S. government and an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Dr. Crist will receive prestigious award and the accompanying $30,000 prize.

The Washington Institute Book Prize is given annually to three outstanding new books that have illuminated the Middle East for American readers. "Through this competition, The Washington Institute seeks to acknowledge the very best new works on the region and to encourage authors and publishers to produce books of unique quality and insight," according to Institute Executive Director Dr. Robert Satloff. The winners are selected by an independent panel of foreign policy specialists from academia and journalism.

In recognizing Crist with the prize, the judges praised: "David Crist's history of the undeclared war between the United States and Iran combines first-rate storytelling, new information, and cogent analysis.... In a timely narrative woven as tightly as a Persian carpet, Crist sets current headlines in a rich historical context and suggests valuable policy lessons for future 'engagement' with Iran." The Twilight War is published by Penguin Books.

Fred Kaplan was awarded the silver medal, with its $15,000 prize, for The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, published by Simon and Schuster. The judges commended his combination of "superb storytelling and meticulous journalism" and hailed the book as an "unparalleled account of how the U.S. military has adapted itself to the realities of the Middle East." Kaplan is the "War Stories" columnist at Slate and the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The jurors presented Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, with the bronze prize for Tested by Zion: The Bush Administration and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. The judges described the memoir as "a frank insider account... [that] reads as an objective, scholarly history, and sets a new standard for books on the peace process." Abrams will receive a $5,000 prize for the book, which is published by Cambridge University Press.

The independent panel of jurors for The Washington Institute Book Prize is constituted each year of experts selected for their varied areas of expertise. This year's jury included Daniel Byman, a professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and research director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution; Michael Doran, the Roger Hertog Senior Fellow at Brookings and a former senior director at the National Security Council; and Judith Miller, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Fox News contributor, and former New York Times correspondent. The competition is administered by Dr. Martin Kramer, The Washington Institute's Wexler-Fromer fellow and president of Shalem College in Jerusalem.

The Book Prize, now in its sixth year, has been generously supported since its inception by Washington Institute trustees Shelly and Michael Kassen.

Submissions for the 2014 Book Prize will commence after January 1, 2014. Publishers may submit English-language nonfiction books on any subject that bears on the modern Middle East or America's role in the region published between May 1, 2013 and May 1, 2014. The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2014. Complete details are available at

About The Washington Institute:The Washington Institute for Near East Policy seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them through in-depth research and cutting edge analysis.