Banner Image for J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project
From left, 2019 Lukas Prize Project winners Shane Bauer and Andrew Delbanco; finalist Lauren Hilgers; Ann Marie Lipinski, curator of the Nieman Foundation; Steve Coll, dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism; winners Steven Dudley, Jeffrey C. Stewart and Maurice Chammah Lisa Abitbol

Awards & Conferences

J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project

The 2024 Winners and Finalists

Graphic showing book covers of the 2024 J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Winners and FinalistsWinners and finalists have been selected for the 2024 Lukas Prize Project Awards, presented jointly by Columbia Journalism School and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.

Dashka Slater is winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for “Accountable: The True Story of a Racist Social Media Account and the Teenagers Whose Lives It Changed.” Winner of the Mark Lynton History Prize is Ned Blackhawk, for “The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History.” The two J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award winners are Lorraine Boissoneault for “Body Weather: Notes on Illness in the Anthropocene” and Alice Driver for “The Life and Death of the American Worker: The Immigrants Taking on America’s Largest Meatpacking Company.” Kerry Howley is the Lukas Book Prize finalist for her book “Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs: A Journey Through the Deep State” and Gary J. Bass is the Lynton History Prize finalist is for “Judgment at Tokyo: World War II on Trial and the Making of Modern Asia.”

About the Awards

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.

Awards are given annually in three categories:

  • 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 (two $25,000 prizes) 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

Submissions for the 2023 Lukas Prizes are now being accepted. The deadline to enter is Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022. 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.


Lukas Book
History Prize
Lukas Work-in-
Progress Awards
Dashka Slater
Accountable: The True Story of a Racist Social Media Account and the Teenagers Whose Lives It Changed 
Ned Blackhawk
The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History
Lorraine Boissoneault

Body Weather: Notes on Illness in the Anthropocene

Alice Driver  
The Life and Death of the American Worker: The Immigrants Taking on America’s Largest Meatpacking Company
Press release
2023 Linda Villarosa
Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation
Deborah Cohen
Last Call at the Hotel Imperial: The Reporters Who Took on a World at War
Jesselyn Cook
The Quiet Damage: QAnon and the Destruction of the American Family
Mike Hixenbaugh 
Uncivil: One Town’s Fight Over Race and Identity, and the New Battle for America’s Schools
Press release | Video
Andrea Elliott
Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City
Jane Rogoyska
Surviving Katyń: Stalin’s Polish Massacre and the Search for Truth
Roxanna Asgarian
We Were Once a Family: The Hart Murder-Suicide and the System Failing Our Kids

May Jeong
The Life: Sex, Work, and Love in America
Press release | Video
Jessica Goudeau
After the Last Border: Two Families and the Story of Refuge in America
William G. Thomas III
A Question of Freedom: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War
Emily Dufton
Addiction Inc.: How the Corporate Takeover of America’s Treatment Industry Created a Profitable Epidemic
Casey Parks
Diary of a Misfit
Press release | Video
Alex Kotlowitz
American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment
Kerri K. Greenidge
Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter
Bartow J. Elmore
Seed Money: Monsanto’s Past and the Future of Food
Shahan Mufti
American Caliph: The True Story of the Hanafi Siege, America’s First Homegrown Islamic Terror Attack
Press release | Video
Shane Bauer
American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment
Andrew Delbanco
The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War
Jeffrey C. Stewart
The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke
Maurice Chammah
Let the Lord Sort Them: Texas and the Death Penalty’s Rise and Fall in America
Steven Dudley
Mara: The Making of the MS13
Press release | Videos
Amy Goldstein, NF ’05
Janesville: An American Story
Stephen Kotkin
Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941
Chris Hamby
Soul Full of Coal Dust: The True Story of an Epic Battle for Justice
Rachel Louise Snyder
No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Violence Can Kill Us
Press release
Gary Younge
Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives
Tyler Anbinder
City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York
Christopher Leonard
Press release | Video
Susan Southard
Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War
Nikolaus Wachsmann
KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps
Steve Luxenberg
Separate: A Story of Race, Ambition and the Battle That Brought Legal Segregation to America
Press release | Videos
Jenny Nordberg
The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan
Harold Holzer
Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion
Dan Egan
Liquid Desert: Life and Death of the Great Lakes
Press release
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 | Videos
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Samantha Power
Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide
Robert Harms
The Diligent: A Voyage Through the Worlds of the Slave Trade
Suzannah Lessard
Mapping the New World: An Inquiry into the Meaning of Sprawl
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
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
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
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