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Lauded Graeme Smith book on Afghan war up for Shaughnessy Cohen Prize

TORONTO - Journalist Graeme Smith's acclaimed book on the war in Afghanistan is up for another lucrative award, this time the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.

The Afghanistan-based Globe and Mail reporter made the cut for "The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan" (Knopf Canada), which recently won the $60,000 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

It's also a finalist for the B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, which will be handed out Feb. 21 in Vancouver.

The Shaughnessy Cohen short list unveiled Tuesday also includes England-based historian Margaret MacMillan for "The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914" (Allen Lane Canada), which is also up for the B.C. National Award.

Maclean’s political editor Paul Wells is a finalist for "The Longer I'm Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006 -" (Random House Canada).

Donald J. Savoie of the University of Moncton is a contender for "Whatever Happened to the Music Teacher? How Government Decides and Why" (McGill-Queen's University Press).

And Vancouver-based journalist Charles Montgomery is on the short list for "Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design" (Doubleday Canada).

The jury included Calgary Herald editorial page editor Licia Corbella, journalist Jane O'Hara, and Globe and Mail international affairs columnist Doug Saunders

The winner will be announced April 2 at the Politics and the Pen Gala in Ottawa.

Now in its 14th year, the prize was established in honour of the late MP from Windsor, Ont.

It honours "a book of literary non-fiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on Canadian political life."

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