One of the world's most prestigious honors is the Nobel Peace Prize, which has been given to statesmen, preachers, artists, and activists.
Journalist Jay Nordlinger provides a concise history of this famous and sometimes controversial honor in a discussion of his book Peace, They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in the World on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
In concentrating on the Nobel Peace Prize Nordlinger delivers a sweeping history of the 20th century - ironically, one marked by two world wars, a cold war, and a war on terror.
It also presents a parade of interesting individuals-more than a hundred laureates, and not a dullard in the bunch. Some of them were statesmen (Theodore Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela). Some have been heroes or saints (Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa). Some are more difficult to classify (Yasser Arafat). Controversies also swirl around the awards to Henry Kissinger, Mikhail Gorbachev, Al Gore, and Barack Obama, to name just a handful.
Probably no figure in this book is more interesting than a non-laureate: Alfred Nobel, the Swedish scientist and entrepreneur who started the prizes. Nordlinger also addresses "missing laureates," people who did not win the peace prize but might have, or should have.
Nordlinger is a senior editor of National Review, a classical music critic for The New Criterion and CityArts, and a former speechwriter for George W. Bush during his first presidential campaign.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.