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2014 Lukas Prize Project Winners with moderator Steve Coll

Awards

J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project

2014 Winners

  • Sheri Fink, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, has won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for her investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Jill Lepore, a prolific author and Harvard University professor who combines her interests in historical research, language and literature, will receive the Mark Lynton History Prize for her biography of Jane Franklin Mecom.
  • Reporter and writer Adrienne Berard has won the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award for her book about the untold story of the first fight for desegregation in Southern schools.

Press release

About the Award

Established in 1998, the Lukas Prize Project honors the best in American nonfiction writing.

Co-administered by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation, the project is sponsored by the family of the late Mark Lynton, a historian and senior executive at the firm Hunter Douglas in the Netherlands.

Three awards are given annually:

  • The J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize ($10,000) recognizes superb examples of nonfiction on an American topic that exemplifies the literary grace, commitment to serious research and social concern that characterized the work of the award’s namesake.
  • The Mark Lynton History Prize ($10,000) is awarded to the book-length work of history on any subject that best combines intellectual or scholarly distinction with felicity of expression.
  • The J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award ($30,000) is given annually to aid in the completion of a significant work of nonfiction on a topic of American political or social concern.

How to Apply

Entry guidelines and forms are available on the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism website.

About J. Anthony Lukas

The winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award, J. Anthony Lukas published five epic books, each of which examined a critical fault line in America’s social and political landscape by examining individual lives caught up in the havoc of change.

A former foreign and national correspondent for The New York Times, Lukas tackled the country’s generational conflict in his first book “Don’t Shoot: We Are Your Children,” examined the impact of Boston school desegregation in “Common Ground,” and told a sweeping tale of class conflict at the turn of the century in “Big Trouble,” completed just before his death in 1997.

His other books were “The Barnyard Epithet and Other Obscenities: Notes on the Chicago Conspiracy Trial” and “Nightmare: The Underside of the Nixon Years.”

Lukas began his newspaper career as a student at The Harvard Crimson and later returned to the Harvard campus as a Nieman Fellow in the class of 1969.

About Mark Lynton

As he explains in his 1995 autobiography, “Accidental Journey: A Cambridge Internee’s Memoir of World War II,” Mark Lynton was born Max-Otto Ludwig Loewenstein in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1920. Lynton moved to Berlin two years later when his father was named head of a major German car manufacturer. Raised by a Swiss nanny, Lynton was bilingual in French and German and was educated in Germany, France and England.

A student at Cambridge University when WWII began, Lynton was interned at a Canadian detention camp before his return to England and, ultimately, enlistment in the British military, where he served for seven years. Assigned to the Pioneer Corps, Lynton later transferred to the Royal Tank Regiment, attaining the rank of captain. He completed his career with British Intelligence, interrogating German officers.

Lynton had a long career working for Citroen and was a senior executive at the firm Hunter Douglas in the Netherlands at the time of his death in 1997. His wife, Marion Lynton, and children, Lili and Michael, established the Mark Lynton History Prize as part of the Lukas Prize Project to honor Lynton, who was an avid reader of history. The Lynton family has generously underwritten the Lukas Prize Project since its inception in 1998.

Winners

Lukas Book
Prize
Lynton
History Prize
Lukas Work-in-
Progress Award
2014
Sheri Fink
Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
Jill Lepore
Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin
Adrienne Berard
When Yellow Was Black: The untold story of the first fight for desegregation in Southern schools
Press release
2013
Andrew Solomon
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
Robert Caro, NF ’66
The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson
Beth Macy, NF ’10
Factory Man
Press release
2012
Daniel J. Sharfstein
The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White
Sophia Rosenfeld
Common Sense: A Political History
Jonathan M. Katz
The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster
Press release
2011
Eliza Griswold, NF ’07
The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam
Isabel Wilkerson
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
Alex Tizon
Big Little Man: The Asian Male at the Dawn of the Asian Century
Press release
2011 J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards : May 4, 2011
2010
David Finkel
The Good Soldiers
James Davidson
The Greeks and Greek Love: A Bold New Exploration of the Ancient World
Jonathan Schuppe
Ghetto Ball: A Coach, His Team, and the Struggle of an American City
Press release
2009
Jane Mayer
The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals
Timothy Brook
Vermeer’s Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World
Judy Pasternak
Yellow Dirt: The Betrayal of the Navajos
Press release
Listen to a conversation between 2009 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize winner Jane Mayer and author and former Lukas Book Prize judge George Packer on BlogTalkRadio, moderated by Sree Sreenivasan, dean of student affairs at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism: April 30, 2009
2008
Jeffrey Toobin
The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court
Peter Silver
Our Savage Neighbors: How Indian War Transformed Early America
Michelle Goldberg
The Means of Reproduction
Press release
2008 J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards: May 13, 2008
2007
Lawrence Wright
The Looming Tower: Al Quaeda and the Road to 9/11
James T. Campbell
Middle Passages: African American Journeys to Africa, 1787-2005
Robert Whitaker
Twelve Condemned to Die: Scipio Africanus Jones and The Struggle for Justice That Remade a Nation
Press release
2006
Nate Blakeslee
Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town
Megan Marshall
The Peabody Sisters: Three Women who Ignited American Romanticism
Laura Claridge
Emily Post and the Rise of Practical Feminism
Press release
2005
Evan Wright
Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War
Richard Steven Street
Beasts of the Field: A Narrative History of California Farmworkers, 1769-1913
Joan Quigley
Home Fires
Press release
2004
David Maraniss
They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967
Rebecca Solnit
River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West
John Bowe
Slavery Inc.
Press release
2003
Samantha Power
Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide
Suzannah Lessard
Mapping the New World: An Inquiry into the Meaning of Sprawl
Robert Harms
The Diligent: A Voyage Through the Worlds of the Slave Trade
Press release
2002
Diane McWhorter
Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution
Mark Roseman
A Past in Hiding: Memory and Survival in Nazi Germany
Jacques Leslie
On Dams
Press release
2001
David Nasaw
The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst
Fred Anderson
Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766
Max Holland
A Need to Know: Inside the Warren Commission
Press release
2000
Witold Rybczynski
A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the Nineteenth Century
John W. Dower
Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II
James Tobin
Work of the Wind: A Remarkable Family, an Overlooked Genius, and the Race for Flight
Press release
1999
Henry Mayer
All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery
Adam Hochschild
King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa
Kevin Coyne
The Best Years of Their Lives: One Town’s Veterans and How They Changed the World
Press release