Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction

This is one of the 200 lists we use to generate our main The Greatest Books list.

  • The Making of the President, 1960 by Theodore White

    The book provides a detailed account of the 1960 presidential election between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. It delves into the strategies, tactics, and machinations of both the Democratic and Republican campaigns, offering a behind-the-scenes look at American politics. The author's thorough research and insightful analysis have made this book a classic in political journalism.

  • The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman

    "The Guns of August" is a detailed and engaging account of the first month of World War I. The book explores the events leading up to the war, the political and military strategies of the various countries involved, and the critical decisions that shaped the course of the conflict. It presents a vivid picture of the war's early stages, highlighting the miscalculations, miscommunications, and misunderstandings that led to one of the most devastating wars in history.

  • Anti-intellectualism in American Life by Richard Hofstadter

    This book is a critical examination of the historical trend of anti-intellectualism in American society from the 19th century to the 1960s. The author explores how this disdain for intellectual pursuits and glorification of practical skills has influenced various aspects of American life including politics, business, education, and religion. The book also analyzes the roots of this phenomenon, linking it to populist movements, religious fundamentalism, and the American suspicion of elites and expertise.

  • O Strange New World by Howard Mumford Jones

    "O Strange New World" is a historical account that explores the intellectual and cultural development of America from the time of the first settlers to the early 19th century. The author examines how the settlers' ideas of freedom, individualism, and progress were shaped by their experiences and the unique challenges they faced in the New World. The book provides a comprehensive understanding of the origins and evolution of American thought and values.

  • Wandering Through Winter by Edwin Way Teale

    "Wandering Through Winter" is a travelogue in which the author and his wife journey 20,000 miles across America from the southwestern deserts to the northeastern forests, exploring the beauty of nature during the winter months. The book, fourth in a series on the American seasons, combines scientific explanations with poetic descriptions of the landscapes, wildlife, and natural phenomena they encounter, capturing the quiet but profound transformations that occur in the natural world during winter.

  • The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture by David Brion Davis

    "The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture" is a comprehensive historical analysis of the cultural, moral, and intellectual dilemmas slavery posed to Western society. The book explores the paradox of a freedom-loving society that also allowed and justified human bondage, tracing the evolution of thought on slavery from ancient times to the late eighteenth century. It delves into the ways in which different societies have rationalized and confronted slavery, including religious, philosophical, and political perspectives, ultimately leading to the abolitionist movements.

  • Rousseau and Revolution by Will Durant, Ariel Durant

    "Rousseau and Revolution" is a comprehensive historical account of the European Enlightenment period, focusing on the social and political upheavals that led to the French Revolution. The book explores the philosophical teachings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, his influence on the era, and how his ideas significantly contributed to the revolutionary spirit. It also provides a detailed examination of the cultural, scientific, and intellectual developments during the 18th century, offering an in-depth understanding of the social and political transformation of the time.

  • So Human an Animal by René Dubos

    "So Human an Animal" is a Pulitzer Prize-winning work that explores the complex relationship between the environment and human health. The book argues that the rapid technological advancements and urbanization of the 20th century have negatively impacted human health and happiness. The author suggests that a return to a more natural way of living and a reconnection with nature could help to alleviate these issues. The book is a call to action, urging society to consider the impact of its actions on the environment and human well-being.

  • The Armies of the Night by Norman Mailer

    This book is a unique blend of historical fact and autobiographical fiction, providing a detailed account of the October 1967 March on the Pentagon. It describes the author's experiences during the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, where he was arrested and spent the night in jail. The narrative explores the author's interactions with other protesters, his observations on the nature of political activism, and his personal reflections on the Vietnam War. It also delves into the author's struggles with his personal beliefs and his role as a public figure during this turbulent period in American history.

  • Gandhi's Truth by Erik H. Erikson

    "Gandhi's Truth" is a psychological analysis of Mahatma Gandhi's life and the impact of his nonviolent resistance movement. The book delves into Gandhi's formative years, his personal struggles, and his evolution into a national leader, examining how these experiences shaped his philosophy and actions. The author uses Gandhi's life as a case study to explore broader themes of identity, ideology, and the dynamics of social change.

  • The Rising Sun by John Toland

    "The Rising Sun" provides an in-depth historical account of Japan during World War II from the perspective of the Japanese. The book explores the political and military events leading up to the war, the conduct of the war itself, and the aftermath, including the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The narrative is based on interviews, diaries, memoirs, and letters of the people who lived through these events, offering a unique and comprehensive look at Japan's role in the war.

  • Stilwell and the American Experience in China by Barbara Wertheim Tuchman

    The book is a detailed historical account of the American military experience in China from 1911 to 1945, specifically focusing on the life and career of General Joseph Stilwell. The narrative provides an in-depth look at Stilwell's efforts to train Chinese troops during World War II, his clashes with Chiang Kai-shek, and his role in the complex political dynamics of the time. It also offers a broader exploration of American-Chinese relations during this period, highlighting the cultural misunderstandings and political tensions that marked this chapter in history.

  • Fire in the Lake by Frances FitzGerald

    This book is an in-depth analysis of the Vietnam War from the perspective of the Vietnamese people and culture. The author explores the historical, cultural, and social factors that contributed to the conflict, providing a comprehensive understanding of the war beyond the American involvement. It delves into the roots of Vietnamese nationalism, the impact of French colonialism, and the ideological differences between North and South Vietnam, giving the reader a nuanced view of this complex period in history.

  • Children of Crisis by Robert Coles

    "Children of Crisis" is a deeply moving exploration of the lives of children in various challenging circumstances. The author, a renowned psychiatrist, documents his experiences working with children facing poverty, racial tension, and family disruption in the United States. The book provides insights into the resilience, adaptability, and strength of children, offering a profound understanding of their psychological responses to crisis and adversity.

  • The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker

    "The Denial of Death" is a thought-provoking examination of the influence of death on human behavior and society. The author argues that the fear of death is a primary motivator in human life, influencing our actions, beliefs, and relationships. He explores how culture and religion are often mechanisms to deny and transcend the reality of death, offering symbolic immortality through beliefs in the afterlife or in the enduring impact of one's life work. The book also delves into the psychological impact of this denial and the concept of the "heroic individual" who seeks to leave a lasting legacy.

  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

    This book is a personal narrative of the author's explorations near her home at Tinker Creek in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. The narrative is filled with detailed observations on nature and philosophical musings. It reflects on themes of solitude, the presence of God in nature, and the interconnectedness of life. The author's deep reflections and contemplations about the mysteries and beauty of the world make it a profound meditation on the natural world.

  • Why Survive? Being Old in America by Robert Neil Butler

    "Why Survive? Being Old in America" is a comprehensive exploration of aging in the United States. The book critically examines the societal and systemic issues faced by the elderly, including healthcare, income security, housing, and social services. The author challenges the negative stereotypes associated with aging and stresses the need for a compassionate and inclusive society that values and respects its older citizens. The book also provides recommendations for policy changes to improve the quality of life for the elderly.

  • Beautiful Swimmers by William Warner

    "Beautiful Swimmers" is a non-fiction exploration of the Chesapeake Bay and the life of the blue crab. The book combines biology, environmental science, and sociology to provide an in-depth look at the crabbing industry, the unique habits and characteristics of the blue crab, and the impact of human activity on this delicate ecosystem. The narrative also delves into the lives and experiences of those who make their living from the waters of the Chesapeake, offering a rich and evocative portrait of a unique American way of life.

  • The Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan

    This book explores the fascinating topic of the evolution of human intelligence, from the big bang to the present day. The author uses a blend of psychology, anthropology, and biology to propose theories on how the human brain has evolved over time. The book also delves into the role of reptilian and mammalian brains in human evolution, while drawing parallels between the development of the brain and the cosmos. The author's theories are supported by a wide range of scientific evidence, making this a compelling read for anyone interested in the evolution of intelligence.

  • On Human Nature by E. O. Wilson

    This book delves into the biological origins of human behavior, suggesting that they are largely derived from our evolutionary past. The author explores how our species' inherent traits and instincts, including aggression, sexual conduct, and moral instincts, are influenced by our genetic makeup. He also discusses the implications of these ideas for issues like politics, sexuality, religion, and ethics, challenging the reader to reconsider the nature versus nurture debate.

  • Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter

    The book explores concepts of formal systems, recursion, self-reference, and infinity through the interdisciplinary lens of mathematics, art, and music. The narrative intertwines biographical sketches of the titular figures - a mathematician, an artist, and a composer - with dialogues and discussions to illustrate complex ideas. The author uses these figures as metaphors to delve into the nature of human cognition and consciousness, suggesting that our minds are essentially self-referential systems akin to the works of Gödel, Escher, and Bach.

  • Fin-de-Siècle Vienna by Carl E. Schorske

    "Fin-de-Siècle Vienna" is a collection of seven independent essays that explore the political, intellectual, and artistic life of Vienna at the end of the 19th century. The book delves into the dramatic cultural transformations that occurred during this period, including the rise of modernism, the influence of psychoanalysis, and the political turmoil that led to World War I. The author provides a detailed analysis of the works of key figures from this era, such as Gustav Klimt, Sigmund Freud, and Arnold Schoenberg, and discusses how their contributions reflected and shaped the social and political realities of the time.

  • The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder

    The book is a detailed account of a team of engineers at a prominent technology company in the late 1970s, as they race against time to design and build a new minicomputer. The narrative delves into the high-pressure world of corporate and technological competition, exploring the personal and professional dynamics among the team members. It offers an insightful look into the world of computer engineering, the obsession with innovation, and the relentless pursuit of success.

  • Is There No Place On Earth For Me? by Susan Sheehan

    This book provides an in-depth exploration of mental illness, specifically schizophrenia, through the four-year journey of a woman suffering from the condition. The book offers a detailed account of her experiences in and out of psychiatric facilities, her struggles with the symptoms of her illness, her interactions with the mental health system, and the impact of her condition on her daily life. The narrative is a profound examination of the complexities of schizophrenia and the challenges faced by those who suffer from it.

  • The Social Transformation of American Medicine by Paul Starr

    "The Social Transformation of American Medicine" is a comprehensive history of the evolution of healthcare in the United States, examining the rise of the medical profession, the impact of technological advancements, and the development of medical institutions. It explores the dynamics between medical professionals and patients, the influence of social, economic, and political factors on healthcare, and the ongoing struggle for a national health policy. The book also looks at the power dynamics within the medical field and the role of medical authority in society.

  • The Good War by Studs Terkel

    This book is an oral history of World War II as told by men and women who lived through it. It includes narratives from soldiers, civilians, and politicians alike, capturing a wide range of perspectives on the war. The book illustrates the complexities of the war, its impacts on individuals and society, as well as the aftermath. It delves into the human experiences of fear, courage, loss, and survival, providing a poignant and comprehensive account of one of the most impactful events in human history.

  • Common Ground by J. Anthony Lukas

    "Common Ground" is a non-fiction book that provides an in-depth examination of racial tensions in Boston, Massachusetts during the 1960s and 1970s, primarily focusing on the controversial issue of court-ordered busing to integrate public schools. The narrative follows three families - one African-American, one Irish-American, and one Yankee - to depict the effects of these tensions on the city's different communities. The book also explores the historical, political, and social context of these events, offering a comprehensive analysis of a critical period in American history.

  • Move Your Shadow by Joseph Lelyveld

    This book provides an insightful and detailed account of life under apartheid in South Africa. The author, a former New York Times correspondent, presents a deeply personal and political narrative, exploring the daily lives of people from all walks of life, from black miners to Afrikaner bureaucrats, and the complex and often brutal realities they face. The book also delves into the historical, economic, and political factors that have perpetuated apartheid, as well as the resistance movements and international pressures that have sought to dismantle it.

  • Arab and Jew by David K. Shipler

    The book explores the cultural, political, and personal divisions between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East, specifically in Israel and Palestine. The author, through extensive interviews and personal experiences, delves into the deeply rooted prejudices, stereotypes, and mutual misunderstandings that fuel the ongoing conflict. The book sheds light on the human aspect of the struggle, highlighting the shared similarities and the tragic consequences of the divide.

  • The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes

    This comprehensive book provides an in-depth account of the development of the atomic bomb during World War II. It explores the scientific advancements that made the bomb possible, the political decisions that led to its creation, and the moral dilemmas faced by the scientists involved. The book also details the personalities of key figures in the Manhattan Project, the effects of the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the impact of nuclear weapons on the world.

  • A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan

    "A Bright Shining Lie" is a detailed account of the Vietnam War through the eyes of a charismatic and controversial American military advisor. The book provides an in-depth examination of the war, delving into the complex political and military strategies, the culture of corruption and deceit, and the impact on both Vietnamese civilians and American soldiers. The narrative also explores the protagonist's personal life, including his troubled marriage and his eventual disillusionment with the war. The book is not just a biography, but a critical analysis of the American involvement in Vietnam.

  • And Their Children After Them by Dale Maharidge, Michael Williamson

    This Pulitzer Prize-winning book explores the lives of the American working class during the 1980s. It provides a detailed and poignant account of the struggles and hardships faced by the families in the Rust Belt region, as they grapple with job loss, poverty, and a rapidly changing economic landscape. The narrative follows the authors as they travel across the country, interviewing and photographing the individuals and communities affected by these changes, offering an intimate portrait of the American working class during a time of significant transition and turmoil.

  • The Ants by E. O. Wilson, Bert Hölldobler

    "The Ants" is a comprehensive exploration of the biology, evolution, and behavior of ants. The book covers a wide range of topics, including the ants' origin and classification, their morphology and physiology, their communication and social organization, and their ecology. It also delves into the complex societies and intricate behaviors of these creatures, providing a detailed insight into their world. The authors use a combination of narrative and scientific explanations to make the subject accessible to both general readers and specialists.

  • The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power by Daniel Yergin

    "The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power" is a comprehensive history of the global oil industry, tracing its development from the drilling of the first well in Pennsylvania to the oil crisis of the 1970s and its aftermath. The book examines the key players, political conflicts, and technological advancements that have shaped the industry, and explores the profound impact of oil on the global economy and geopolitics. It also discusses the environmental and social challenges associated with oil production and consumption.

  • Lincoln at Gettysburg by Garry Wills

    This book provides an analysis of the Gettysburg Address, delivered by President Abraham Lincoln, in the context of its historical and cultural significance. The author dissects the speech, its influences, and its enduring impact on American society and ideals. The book also delves into the circumstances surrounding the address, the political climate of the time, and the role it played in shaping the nation's understanding of the Civil War and the principles of democracy.

  • Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire by David Remnick

    This book provides an in-depth account of the final days of the Soviet Union, focusing on the period from 1989 to 1991. It explores the political, economic, and social factors that led to the collapse of the Soviet empire, including the role of key figures such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, and others. The author, a journalist who lived in Moscow during this time, combines historical analysis with personal observations and interviews, offering a unique perspective on this significant period in world history.

  • The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time by Jonathan Weiner

    This book documents the work of two scientists who spent twenty years on a remote island in the Galapagos, studying finches in order to understand Darwin's theory of evolution. The book follows their journey and discoveries, revealing that the finches evolve in real time as their environment changes. It provides a compelling and accessible exploration of the process of natural selection and offers a vivid demonstration of evolution in action.

  • The Haunted Land by Tina Rosenberg

    "The Haunted Land" is a compelling exploration of the aftermath of communism in Eastern Europe, specifically in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Germany. The book delves into the struggles of these nations as they grapple with their pasts under oppressive regimes, and their attempts to move forward towards democracy. The narrative also examines the moral dilemmas faced by these societies as they confront issues of justice, retribution, and memory.

  • Ashes to Ashes by Richard Kluger

    "Ashes to Ashes" is a comprehensive history of the American tobacco industry’s triumphs and tragedies, detailing its successful marketing strategies, along with the legal battles it faced due to the health risks associated with smoking. The book offers an in-depth examination of the rise and fall of the tobacco industry, covering everything from the invention of the cigarette to the lawsuits and settlements that ultimately led to its decline. It also provides a detailed account of the individuals, corporations, and government agencies involved in the industry's saga.

  • Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

    The book is a comprehensive exploration of the different trajectories of human societies throughout history. It argues that environmental factors, rather than racial or cultural differences, are the primary reason why some societies developed more advanced technology and political systems. The author uses a multidisciplinary approach, drawing from fields such as geography, evolutionary biology, and linguistics, to support his thesis. The book covers a wide range of topics, including the domestication of plants and animals, the invention of writing, and the spread of diseases.

  • Annals of the Former World by John McPhee

    "Annals of the Former World" is a comprehensive exploration of the geology and geological history of North America. The book combines complex scientific information with engaging narratives and anecdotes, providing detailed descriptions of the continent's diverse landscapes and the geological forces that have shaped them. The author also introduces the reader to the scientists who study these processes, offering insights into their work and perspectives. Throughout, the book emphasizes the vast timescales involved in geological processes, giving a sense of the deep history of the Earth.

  • Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II by John W. Dower

    This book provides a detailed exploration of Japan following World War II, focusing on the country's defeat and subsequent occupation by Allied forces. It delves into the profound changes in Japanese society, politics, and culture during this period. The narrative captures the struggles of ordinary Japanese people, their feelings of guilt and shame, as well as their efforts to rebuild their lives and nation. It also examines the role of the United States in shaping post-war Japan, highlighting the complexities and contradictions of this transformative era.

  • Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan by Herbert P. Bix

    This book provides a comprehensive and controversial historical account of Emperor Hirohito of Japan, debunking the popular belief that he was a mere figurehead during World War II. Instead, the book argues that Hirohito was actively involved in the decision-making processes that led Japan into the war, and that he managed to escape blame for the nation's actions due to clever political maneuvering during the post-war period. The book also explores Hirohito's role in shaping modern Japan, detailing his influence on its military, political, and cultural institutions.

  • Carry Me Home by Diane McWhorter

    "Carry Me Home" is a deeply researched historical account of the civil rights movement in Birmingham, Alabama, during the 1960s. The book provides a comprehensive look at the racial tensions and violence that marked this period, focusing on key events such as the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. The author, who grew up in Birmingham, also interweaves personal experiences and family history into the narrative, offering a unique perspective on the complex social and political dynamics of the time.

  • A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide by Samantha Power

    This book examines the United States' response to genocides in the twentieth century, including those in Armenia, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Iraq, Bosnia, and Rwanda. The author argues that America's political leaders have consistently ignored or downplayed the severity of these genocides, and she explores the reasons behind this inaction. The book also profiles individuals who have fought to bring attention to these atrocities and hold the perpetrators accountable.

  • Gulag: A History by Anne Applebaum

    "Gulag: A History" provides an in-depth historical account of the Soviet Union's forced labor camp system, known as the Gulag. The book explores the inception of these camps during the reign of Vladimir Lenin, their expansion under Joseph Stalin, and their eventual decline and closure. It also delves into the daily lives of the prisoners, their hardships, and the brutal conditions they endured. The book is based on a wealth of archival material, personal interviews, and memoirs, offering a comprehensive understanding of one of the darkest periods in human history.

  • Ghost Wars by Steve Coll

    "Ghost Wars" is an in-depth exploration of the complex history of Afghanistan from the Soviet invasion in 1979 to just before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The book provides an intricate account of the CIA's role and America's foreign policy in Afghanistan, the rise of the Taliban, and the emergence of Osama Bin Laden. It also details the numerous missed opportunities to capture or kill Bin Laden, and the failure to prevent the 9/11 attacks.

  • Imperial Reckoning by Caroline Elkins

    "Imperial Reckoning" is a historical account of the British Empire's brutal suppression of the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya during the 1950s. The book reveals the atrocities committed by the British colonial government, including mass detention, torture, and forced labor, which resulted in the death of tens of thousands of Kenyans. It also exposes the systemic efforts to cover up these crimes and the lasting impact on Kenya's social and political landscape.

  • The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright

    "The Looming Tower" is a comprehensive historical examination of the events leading up to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. It delves into the origins of Al-Qaeda, the rise of Osama bin Laden, and the failure of U.S. intelligence agencies to prevent the attacks. The narrative is extensively researched and provides a detailed account of Islamic fundamentalism, the complex politics of the Middle East, and the role of the United States in the region. The book also explores the personal stories of key figures on both sides of the conflict.

  • The Years of Extermination by Saul Friedlander

    "The Years of Extermination" is a comprehensive historical analysis of the Holocaust, examining the genocide from 1939 to 1945. Drawing on a variety of sources, including diaries, letters, and firsthand accounts, it provides a detailed and harrowing account of the systematic extermination of the Jewish people during World War II. The book also explores the responses of various groups, including the Jewish communities in Europe, the international community, and the perpetrators themselves.

  • Slavery by Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon

    The book explores the concept of "neoslavery," which entrapped thousands of African Americans in the South in a system of forced labor after the Civil War. This system was perpetuated by local laws, racial prejudice, and economic manipulation, where black men were arrested on false charges, then sold to companies as cheap labor. The book illuminates the forgotten history of this "age of neoslavery" that persisted into the 20th century and its profound impact on the racial disparities that exist today.

  • The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David Hoffman

    This book provides an in-depth exploration of the Cold War arms race, focusing on the creation, development, and deployment of nuclear and biological weapons by both the United States and the Soviet Union. It also delves into the dangerous legacy these weapons have left behind, including the threat of nuclear proliferation and bioterrorism. The book combines historical analysis with first-hand accounts and interviews, offering a comprehensive and chilling examination of a critical period in world history.

  • The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

    This book is a comprehensive history of cancer, its treatments, and the ongoing search for a cure. It presents an in-depth exploration of the disease from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it, to a radical new understanding of its essence. The book also discusses the politics of cancer research, the impact of patient activism, and the complex and often fraught relationships between researchers, oncologists, and patients.

  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt

    The book explores the rediscovery of a long-lost poem by Lucretius, "On the Nature of Things," in the 15th century by an Italian humanist and book hunter. This poem's rediscovery, according to the book, led to a monumental shift in cultural and philosophical thought, paving the way for the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and modern science. The book delves into the poem's content, which challenges religious dogma and promotes a world driven by natural laws and human innovation, and its profound influence on thinkers and artists for centuries.

  • Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King

    The book is a gripping account of the Groveland Boys, four African American men falsely accused of raping a white woman in Florida in 1949, and the efforts of Thurgood Marshall, a future Supreme Court justice, to defend them. The narrative delves into the depths of racial injustice and violence in the Jim Crow South, and shows how Marshall's fight for the Groveland Boys helped to lay the groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement and the desegregation of America.

  • Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin

    The book is a detailed account of a small town in New Jersey, Toms River, which became the epicenter of a major environmental disaster due to industrial pollution. It chronicles the community's struggle for justice, the scientific investigation into the high cancer rates, and the eventual legal battle against the chemical companies responsible. The narrative intertwines public health, legal drama, and investigative journalism, providing a cautionary tale about the consequences of environmental negligence.

  • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

    The book explores the concept of the sixth extinction, suggesting that we are currently in the midst of it due to human activity. By examining previous mass extinctions and the current rapid loss of species, the author argues that humans are causing a mass extinction event through climate change, habitat destruction, and spreading of non-native species. The book offers a sobering look at the impact of human behavior on the natural world, emphasizing the urgency of addressing these environmental issues.

  • Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS by Joby Warrick

    This book provides a detailed account of the rise of the terrorist group ISIS. The narrative delves into the history of the group, tracing its roots back to a Jordanian street thug, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who morphed into a jihadist leader. It also explores the geopolitical conditions and missteps by world leaders that allowed the group to grow in power and influence. The book offers an in-depth look at the personalities and events that contributed to the emergence of one of the most notorious terrorist organizations in the world.

  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

    This book provides an in-depth look at the housing crisis in America, focusing on eight families in Milwaukee who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. The author explores the role of eviction in perpetuating poverty, illuminating the business of landlords and the harsh reality of tenants in impoverished neighborhoods. The book offers a close examination of the intersection between profit and poverty, revealing how both are intricately linked in the American housing market.

  • Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman

    This book delves into the complex and controversial issue of mass incarceration in the United States, particularly within the African American community. It explores the historical, social, and political factors that contributed to the high rates of black imprisonment. The author examines the role of African American leaders in advocating for tough-on-crime policies and their unintended consequences. The book is a thought-provoking analysis of the intersection of race, crime, and justice in America.

  • Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America by Eliza Griswold

    This book is a detailed account of a family living in rural Pennsylvania, whose lives are disrupted by the fracking industry. It explores the economic desperation that leads small towns to welcome fracking, the environmental and health disasters that follow, and the legal battles that families must wage to protect their rights. The narrative also delves into the political and social divides that the fracking industry exacerbates, providing a comprehensive look at the impact of this controversial practice on American society.

  • The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America by Greg Grandin

    The book explores the concept of the frontier throughout American history, arguing that it has been a central myth that has shaped the nation's ideologies and policies, from its inception to the present day. The author traces this myth from the country's founding, through westward expansion, to the current political climate and the contentious issue of the border wall. The book suggests that the frontier has served as a symbol of freedom and opportunity, but also of conflict and exclusion, reflecting the country's struggle with its own identity and values.

  • The Undying: Pain, vulnerability, mortality, medicine, art, time, dreams, data, exhaustion, cancer, and care by Anne Boyer

    The book is a deeply personal and critical exploration of the author's experience with breast cancer. The narrative addresses the physical and emotional toll of the disease, the complexities of the medical industry, and the societal expectations and realities of illness. It also delves into the intersection of art, data, and time in the context of health and mortality. This work is not just a memoir of the author's journey with cancer, but also a critique of the ways in which illness is perceived and treated in contemporary society.

About this list

Pulitzer Prize, 63 Books

The Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction has been awarded since 1962 for a distinguished book of non-fiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in any other category.

Added about 10 years ago.

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