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The Lionel Gelber Prize was founded in 1989 by Canadian diplomat Lionel Gelber. The prize is a literary award for the world’s best non-fiction book in English on foreign affairs that seeks to deepen public debate on significant international issues. A prize of $15,000 is awarded to the winner. The award is presented annually by the Lionel Gelber Foundation, in partnership with Foreign Policy Magazine and the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

Recipients are judged by a jury panel of experts from Canada, Britain, and the United States. The award has been described by The Economist as "the world's most important award for non-fiction". Past winners have included Lawrence Wright, Jonathan Spence, David McCullough, Kanan Makiya, Michael Ignatieff, Eric Hobsbawm, Robert Kinloch Massie, Adam Hochschild (two time winner), Robert Skidelsky, Baron Skidelsky, Walter Russell Mead, and Steve Coll.

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