Peacemakers: Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize

Peacemakers: Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize

Peacemakers: Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize

Peacemakers: Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize

Synopsis

Here, in a single volume, are the profiles of all the individuals and organizations that have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize since its establishment in 1901. From the creator of the prize, Alfred Nobel, the Swedish industrialist who invented dynamite, to Jody Williams and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, these individuals and organizations have devoted their lives to peace and have made our world a better place to live.
Ann Keene chronicles the moving stories of the winners of the Nobel Peace prize in 79 essays that focus on the activities that earned each person or organization the prize. She includes fascinating anecdotes about and quotations from the recipients and, at the same time, introduces readers to major events in world history. The winners of the most prestigious peace award in the world include:
Henri Dunant (1901), the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross
Theodore Roosevelt (1906), who, as President of the United States, mediated an end to the Russo-Japanese War in 1905; he was the first American to win the prize
Fridtjof Nansen (1922), Norwegian humanitarian, scientist, and Arctic explorer
Jane Addams (1931), peace activist and social reformer, and a founder of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Ralph J. Bunche (1950), who worked to achieve peace in the Middle East; he was the first African American to win the prize
Lester Pearson (1957), who as a member of the Canadian delegation to the United Nations played a key role in ending the Suez Canal crisis
Albert Luthuli (1960), former president of the African National Congress and outspoken opponent of South Africa's apartheid system
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1964), U. S. civil rights activist
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) (1965), which continues to provide assistance to children in developing countries throughout the world
Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams (1976), cofounders of Peace People, an organization dedicated to ending violence in Northern Ireland
Mother Teresa (1979), originally a high schoolteacher in India who won the prize for her work with the poor of Calcutta
Elie Wiesel (1986), the author who has drawn international attention to the Holocaust
Aung San Suu Kyi (1991), founder of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar (Burma) who lived under house arrest for six years
Appendixes include a chronological listing of the Nobel Peace Prize Winners, a timeline recounting historic milestones in the peace movement, a listing of major peace organizations, a short glossary of terms, further reading, and an index.
From the career diplomats and politicians to the ordinary people who discovered an opportunity to act on behalf of peace, these stories honor those who have made a profound difference in the world. Peacemakersis the ideal introduction to the Nobel Peace Prize for young readers and is an indispensable reference for anyone who is interested in world peace and history.

Excerpt

The 19th-century Swedish inventor and industrialist Alfred Nobel hated war, and he often wished that he could use his creative genius to invent an antiwar [substance or machine.] He could not, of course, and so he did the next best thing: in his will, he directed his heirs to create an annual prize worth a great deal of money for the person or persons who had done [the most or the best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.]

In 1901, five years after Nobel's death, the first Nobel Peace Prize was awarded. Today, nearly a century later, some 100 men, women, and organizations have won the award for their activities on behalf of world peace. In its early years, the prize—awarded in Swedish kronor—was the equivalent of several thousand dollars. In the late-1990s, it is worth around $1 million—a consequence of investments that have made the Nobel estate increasingly valuable. The Nobel Peace Prize has a much greater value than the money that accompanies it, however: it is recognized as the most prestigious award in the world that a peacemaker can receive.

The bulk of Alfred Nobel's fortune came from the manufacture of explosives. The most important of these was dynamite, which he invented. In the century since Nobel's death, many false stories have been circulated about him. The most common is that he created the Nobel Peace Prize because he had a guilty conscience about making money from the manufacture of weapons. In fact, although some of Nobel's explosives were used to make ammunition, he made little or no money from that application of his inventions. The Nobel fortune came from peacetime uses of dynamite throughout the world to blast roads, tunnels, canals, railways, and oil wells.

If Alfred Nobel had been able to choose a career for himself, it might not have been science or invention or business. Instead, he might have become a professional writer. Nobel was born in 1833 in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. He was the fourth of eight children, of whom only four lived beyond childhood. His father was an architect, builder, and inventor who became financially successful during Alfred's childhood by manufacturing simple explosives and small machines.

As a child, Alfred Nobel was sickly. He was closer to his mother, who encouraged his interest in literature and the arts, than he was to his father, who was often absent on business. When he was nine, the family moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, where his father had established his busi-

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