Dr. Kevin Spooner wins award for book on 1960s Congo Crisis

Jan 10/11

The Canadian Committee for the History of the Second World War and the Canadian Commission for Military History are delighted to announce the winner of the 2009 C.P. Stacey Award.  From a long list of Canadian military studies published in 2008 or 2009, the judges chose for the prize Dr. Kevin A. Spooner’s Canada, the Congo Crisis, and UN Peacekeeping, 1960-1964 (2009), published by the University of British Columbia Press. Serge Bernier, Paul Dickson, Doug Delaney and Norman Hillmer concluded that Spooner’s book has made a significant contribution to the fields of military and international history.

The committee concluded that Dr. Spooner’s monograph makes its mark in two ways: it represents the first scholarly account of Canada’s commitment to a fairly muscular peace enforcement operation before peace enforcement operations were the norm, and it challenges well-worn assumptions about the Diefenbaker government’s policy on the United Nations Congo mission (ONUC) in particular, and in respect of UN peacekeeping in general. Exploiting an extraordinary array of previously-untapped archival sources in Canada and the United States, Canada, the Congo Crisis, and UN Peacekeeping, 1960-1964 reveals “how Canadian decision-makers crafted and implemented policy while weighing the often competing demands of Canada’s ongoing commitment to UN peacekeeping, a multilateral approach to foreign affairs, their perceptions of Canadian public opinion, and relations with the prominent members of NATO – all in the context of a very Cold War”. This is a complex story that Dr. Spooner has rendered comprehensible with the benefit of his “analytical acumen and the gift of his accessible prose”.

Further information relating to Canada, the Congo Crisis, and United Nations Peacekeeping, 1960-1964 can be found at the publisher’s website: University of British Columbia Press.