J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards for Exceptional Works of Nonfiction

The Lukas Prize Project Awards, presented jointly each year by the Nieman Foundation and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, recognize excellence in nonfiction writing that exemplifies the distinguished work of J. Anthony Lukas, a 1969 Nieman Fellow. The 2009 awards were presented at a ceremony at Columbia’s Journalism School in May.

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, Lukas began his illustrious newspaper career as a student writing for The Harvard Crimson and went on to serve as both a foreign and national correspondent for The New York Times. His highly acclaimed books include “Don't Shoot: We Are Your Children,” “Common Ground” and “Big Trouble.”

  • The J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize ($10,000) recognizes superb examples of nonfiction writing that exemplify literary grace, a commitment to serious research and social concern.

    • Winner: Jane Mayer for “The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals” (Doubleday).

    • Finalists: Edward Alden for “The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration, and Security Since 9/11” (Harper) and Masha Gessen for “Blood Matters: From Inherited Illness to Designer Babies, How the World and I Found Ourselves in the Future of the Gene” (Harcourt),

Judges for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize were David Michaelis, Patricia O’Toole and Walter Shapiro.

  • 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.

    • Winner: Timothy Brook for “Vermeer’s Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World” (Bloomsbury).

    • Finalists: Annette Gordon-Reed for “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family” (Norton); Joe Jackson for “The Thief at the End of the World: Rubber, Power, and the Seeds of Empire” (Viking); and William I. Hitchcock for “The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe” (Free Press). “

Judges for the Mark Lynton History Prize were Richard Bernstein, Maya Jasanoff and Patrick Keefe.

  • The J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award ($30,000) is given annually to aid in the completion of a significant work of nonfiction.

    • Winner: Judy Pasternak for “Yellow Dirt: The Betrayal of the Navajos” (to be published by Free Press)

Judges for the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award were Michelle Goldberg, Janet Silver and Robert Whitaker.

Learn more about the Lukas Prize Project and award winners »