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Washington Institute Accepting Entries for 2012 Book Prize

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(WASHINGTON) -- The Washington Institute for Near East Policy is now accepting entries for its prestigious Book Prize, which is awarded annually by an independent jury to three outstanding new books in English that have illuminated the Middle East for American readers. With gold ($30,000), silver ($15,000), and bronze ($5,000) prizes, the award is one of the most lucrative literary prizes in the world.

New books published in the United States between May 1, 2011, and May 1, 2012, on any subject that bears on the modern Middle East are eligible for consideration. Although entries must be submitted by publishers, books are eligible without regard to the nationality or residence of the author(s). Complete submission details are available at

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy Book Prize seeks to reward outstanding writing and to stimulate new contributions to the field. The 2011 Book Prize winners brought new light to some of the most important and contentious issues of our time.

The Longest War (gold prize) provides a riveting account of America's conflict in Afghanistan, detailing the thinking of al-Qaeda's top strategists and the pitched battles in Washington over U.S. policy. A veteran print and television journalist, Bergen is currently the director of the national security studies program at the New America Foundation in Washington D.C., a research fellow at New York University's Center on Law and Security, and CNN's national security analyst.

Washington Institute jurors praised Michael Totten's The Road to Fatima Gate(silver prize) as "a harrowing tale, grippingly told." It describes Hizballah's brazen challenge to the Lebanese state, Lebanon's own disastrous politics, and the ceaseless maneuvers of Israel and Syria. Totten is a foreign correspondent and foreign policy analyst who has reported from the Middle East, the Balkans, and the former Soviet Union.

Awakening Islam (bronze prize) draws on rare interviews and little-known texts to offer a unique insight into the world of Saudi Islamists. Author Stephane Lacroix "paints a complex landscape of the struggle over the role of Islam in the Saudi kingdom," said the Washington Institute panel. Lacroix is assistant professor of political science, Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Paris.

ABOUT THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution that advances a balanced and realistic understanding of U.S. interests in the broader Middle East. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.