by Fredrik Heffermehl
Praeger (USA), 2010
Norwegian lawyer Heffermehl clearly and convincingly demonstrates that almost from the beginning, but especially in post World War II years, the executors of Nobel’s will, signed in 1895, failed to observe its terms. Instead they have many times stretched the word ‘peace’ to cover whatever they thought it ought to mean. Indeed membership of the Nobel Committee has now become a party-political appointment. Some awards have been well intentioned (Al Gore’s for environmental work). Others (Henry Kissinger’s, Barack Obama’s) have been made for purely political reasons. Gandhi never made it. Nobel, much influenced by Baroness von Suttner, wanted a demilitarised world and to honour and encourage those he called the Champions of Peace. The terms of his will are quite specific.