2006 Carey McWilliams Award 2006 Carey McWilliams Award

Presented each year to honor a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics.

Award Committee: Catherine A. Holland, University of Missouri, Columbia; Joseph P. McCormick, II, Pennsylvania State University; Ruth O'Brien, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Chair

Recipient: Mark Danner, University of California, Berkeley

Citation: Mark Danner writes on foreign affairs and international conflict in Central America, Haiti, the Balkans, and most recently in Iraq. His books include The Secret Way to War: The Downing Street Memo and the Iraq War's Buried History, Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib and the War on Terror, The Road to Illegitimacy: One Reporter's Travel's Through the 2000 Florida Vote Recount, and The Massacre at El Mozote: A Parable of the Cold War. He is a staff writer for The New Yorker and contributes often to The New York Review of Books. In many of his books and articles, Danner brings to light vital information about international conflicts.

We're extending him the Carey McWilliams Award because of his 2005 exposure of the Downing Street memo, establishing that the Bush Administration was quietly, but not gently, exerting pressure on the Blair Administration to support the invasion of Iraq as early as 2002, well before the UN Security Council took up the question. The NYRB essays on the Downing Street memo, which were recently expanded into his book, The Secret Way to War, link the Administration's secrecy policies to its foreign policy and illuminate the degree to which the strategy of preemptive war has (thus far) relied not only on distortions of evidence but also on the suppression of public debate through the deliberate marginalization of the democratic public itself in foreign policy deliberations.