American journalist Adam Hochschild has won the 2006 Lionel Gelber Prize for writing about international affairs.

His book Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves was chosen for the $15,000 prize awarded annually by Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies and the Lionel Gelber Foundation.

Hochschild, a founding editor of Mother Jones magazine and a writer for The New Yorker, Harper's and other prominent magazines, also teaches at the University of California at Berkeley.

It is the second time he has won the prize. He first won the Gelber in 1999 for King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa.

Bury the Chains is about the campaign to end slavery, begun in London in 1787. The campaign, with a remarkable cast of characters, set the template for civilian activism, using attention-getters such as wall posters, mass mailings, boycotts and lapel pins.

Hochschild will be in Toronto on April 4 to give a lecture and accept the Gelber award.

The prize was established in 1989 by Canadian scholar Lionel Gelber. This year's jury includes George Russell, executive editor of Fox News, and retired CBC correspondent David Halton. A record 120 nominations were submitted.

The other shortlisted nominees were:

  • The Next Attack: The Failure of the War on Terror and a Strategy for Getting It Right, by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon.
  • The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time, by Jeffrey D. Sachs.
  • Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy, by Stephen M. Walt.
  • Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya, by Caroline Elkins.