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2011 International Book List: Samantha Nutt

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2 January, 2012

Questions for Author Samantha Nutt:

1. What is the best international affairs book you have read in 2011 (Canadian or otherwise?)

There were several great international affairs books in 2011. At the top of my list: Arguably, by the late Christopher Hitchens. It is a collection of essays, only some of which deal with international affairs (Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan….) but when he turns his sharp wit and often acerbic prose on major global events few can touch him. I often found cause to disagree with him, but he invited readers to reconsider their arguments and assumptions like no other. Michael Lewis is also a must-read, for writing about the world’s economic crisis in a unique, compelling and insightful way. Another great international affairs book I read this year, which was very timely in view of developments related to Iran was Assassins of the Turquoise Palace by Roya Hakakian.

2. What was the biggest international event of 2011?

The revolutions throughout the Arab world.

3. Who was the biggest international influencer of 2011?

Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi, whose final act of protest started a revolution.

4. Who was the biggest Canadian international influencer of 2011?

I’m calling it a tie between Mark Carney and Justin Bieber….

5. What was Canada’s best international moment of 2011?

This was an excellent question, but one to which I have no answer, because Canada was far from having a “best” moment that garnered global attention in 2011 – a reflection of how much our foreign policy influence has waned over the past decade. 

6. What was Canada’s worst international moment of 2011?

Peter Kent in Durban. A global embarrassment that showed Canada to be completely out of step with the rest of the world on climate change.

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