Annal: 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Biography

Results of the Pulitzer Prize in the year 1990.

Book:Machiavelli in Hell

Machiavelli in Hell

Sebastian De Grazia

In this intellectual biography Sebastian de Grazia presents a new vision of Niccolo Machiavelli that evokes, with uncanny precision, the great Florentine thinker’s presence. After providing an engrossing account of Machiavelli’s childhood and the period following his imprisonment and torture, the book turns to an examination of The Prince. The details of Machiavelli’s life — his home, journeys, fears and joys, friends, loves, and works — never cease to weave in and out of the narrative, as we read how his ideas gather power and coalesce into a unified vision of humankind and the world.

Book:Clear Pictures

Clear Pictures: First Loves, First Guides

Reynolds Price

Reynolds Price, novelist, poet, playwright and essayist, author of the bestseller Kate Vaiden and the recent Roxanna Slade, is one of the most accomplished writers ever to come out of the South. He is an author rooted in its old life and ways; and this is his vivid, powerful memoir of his first twenty-one years growing up in North Carolina.

Spanning the years from 1933 to 1954, Price accurately captures the spirit of a community recovering from the Depression, living through World War II and then facing the economic and social changes of the 1950s. In closely linked chapters focusing on individuals, Price describes with compassion and honesty the white and black men and women who shaped his youth. The cast includes his young, devoted parents; a loving aunt; his younger brother Bill; childhood friends and enemies and the teachers who fostered and encouraged his love of writing. Clear Pictures is an autobiography set apart from others by the author’s clarity of vision, the power of his characters and the richness of his writing.

Book:A First-Class Temperament

A First-Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt

Geoffrey C. Ward

Drawing upon thousands of original documents as well as interviews with Roosevelt family members and others who knew Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt intimately, this book provides a vivid, unsentimental, sometimes startling biography of the young lawyer who became our thirty-second president.

Book:The Road from Coorain

The Road from Coorain

Jill Ker Conway

In A Memoir that pierces and delights us, Jill Ker Conway tells the story of her astonishing journey into adulthood — a journey that would ultimately span immense distances and encompass worlds, ideas, and ways of life that seem a century apart.

She was seven before she ever saw another girl child. At eight, still too small to mount her horse unaided, she was galloping miles, alone, across Coorain, her parents’ thirty thousand windswept, drought-haunted acres in the Australian outback, doing a “man’s job” of helping herd the sheep because World War II had taken away the able-bodied men. She loved (and makes us see and feel) the vast unpeopled landscape, beautiful and hostile, whose uncertain weathers tormented the sheep ranchers with conflicting promises of riches and inescapable disaster. She adored (and makes us know) her large-visioned father and her strong, radiant mother, who had gone willingly with him into a pioneering life of loneliness and bone-breaking toil, who seemed miraculously…[more]

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