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A native of Canada, Michael Ignatieff holds a doctorate in history from Harvard University and has been a fellow at King's College, Cambridge; Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Paris; and St. Antony's College, Oxford. Among his academic publications are Wealth and Virtue: The Shaping of Political Economy in the Scottish Enlightenment; The Needs of Strangers: An essay on the Philosophy of Human Needs; The Warrior's Honor: Ethnic War and the MOdern Conscience and, most recently. Isaiah Berlin: A Life, Since 1984, he has worked as a free-lance writer, scripting television plays, feature films, novels and works of non-fiction. The Russian Album, A Family Memoir, won Canada's Governor General Award and the Heinemann Prize of Britain's Royal Society of Literature in 1988. His second novel, Scar Tissue, was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 1993. Between 1993 and 1997, he traveled through the battlefields of modern ethnic war, visiting Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Afghanistan to consider the mixture of moral solidarity and hubris that led Western nations to embark on the campaign of "putting the world to rights." Why do some people and nations, he wonders, feel morally responsible for strangers thousands of miles away? IHis recent work on ethnic conflict skillfully combines eyewitness accounts of modern war with a historian's insight into the constancy of human conflict. His recent essays examine four primary themes: the moral connection created by modern culture with distant victims of war, the architects of postmodern war, the impact of ethnic war abroad on our thinking about ethnic accommodations at home (the "seductive temptation of misanthropy"), and the function of memory and social healing. He firmly believes that "the world is not becoming more chaotic or violent, although our failure to understand and act makes it seem so." He is presently completing a 10-part history of the 20th century for both BBC and CBC radio.

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