Betraying the Nobel: The Secrets and Corruption Behind the Nobel Peace Prize

Betraying the Nobel: The Secrets and Corruption Behind the Nobel Peace Prize

Betraying the Nobel: The Secrets and Corruption Behind the Nobel Peace Prize

Betraying the Nobel: The Secrets and Corruption Behind the Nobel Peace Prize


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A revelatory examination of the Nobel Peace Prize—the most prestigious, admired, and controversial honor of our time.

The Nobel Prize, regardless of category, has always been surrounded by politics, intrigue, even scandal. But those pale in comparison to the Peace Prize.

In Betraying the Nobel, Norwegian writer Unni Turrettini completely upends what we thought we knew about the Peace Prize—both its history and how it is awarded.

As 1984’s winner, Desmond Tutu, put it, “No sooner had I got the Nobel Peace Prize than I became an instant oracle.” However, the Peace Prize as we know it is corrupt at its core.

In the years surrounding World War I and II, the Nobel Peace Prize became a beacon of hope, and, through its peace champions, became a reference and an inspiration around the world. But along the way, something went wrong. Alfred Nobel made the mistake of leaving it to the Norwegian Parliament to elect the members of the Peace Prize committee, which has filled the committee with politicians more loyal to their political party’s agenda than to Nobel’s prize's prerogative. As a result, winners are often a result of political expediency.

Betraying the Nobel will delve into the surprising, and often corrupt, history of the prize, and examine what the committee hoped to obtain by its choices, including the now-infamously awarded Cordell Hull, as well as Henry Kissinger, Al Gore, and Barack Obama. Turrettini shows the effects of increased media attention, which have turned the Nobel into a popularity prize, and a controversial and provocative commendation.

The selection of winners who are not peace champions according to the mandates of Alfred Nobel’s will creates distrust. So does lack of transparency in the selection process. As trust in leadership and governance reaches historic lows, the Nobel Peace Prize should be a lodestar. Yet the modern betrayal of the Nobel’s spirit and intentions plays a key role in keeping societal dysfunctions alive.

But there is hope. Betraying the Nobel will show how the Nobel Peace Prize can again become a beacon for leadership, a catalyst for change, and an inspiration for rest of us to strive for greatness and become the peace champions our world needs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643135649
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 11/03/2020
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

About The Author
Norwegian-born Unni Turrettini grew up a multicultural citizen, living in Norway, the United States, France, and Switzerland. She has law degrees from Norway, France, and the United States, and is a member of the New York Bar. She worked numerous years in law and finance in Paris, France, and Geneva, Switzerland. Her other works include The Mystery of the Lone Wolf Killer, published by Pegasus Books (2015). After many years abroad, she now lives in Oslo with her family.

Table of Contents

Foreword Michael Nobel ix

Introduction Prize and Paradox xiii

1 Alfred and Bertha 1

2 Committee of Secrecy 17

3 Norwegian Exceptionalism 37

4 Peace Prize in a World of War 51

5 Inconsistent Choices 67

6 Pistols Among the Olive Branches 79

7 Devaluing Women 97

8 United Nations: A Love Affair 115

9 Political Currency 133

10 Et Spark I Leggen 145

11 Banker to the Poor 161

12 Gandhi: Overlooked and Disregarded 177

13 Overlooked Peace Champions 193

14 The Fascist, The Dictator, The Assassin, & The Heir Apparent 211

15 Life After the Prize 231

16 The Other Side of the Medal 241

Appendix I List of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates 255

Appendix II Alfred Nobel's Last Will 259

Acknowledgments 263

Notes 265

Index 277

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