Annal: 1990 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction

Results of the Pulitzer Prize in the year 1990.

Book:And Their Children After Them

And Their Children After Them: The Legacy of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

Dale Maharidge

In this paperback reissue, an author/photographer team returns to the land and families captured in James Agee and Walker Evans’s inimitable masterwork Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, extending the project of conscience and chronicling the traumatic decline of King Cotton. In 1936, during a brief window of national attention to the topic, Fortune magazine commissioned from Agee and Evans a story on poverty among tenant farmers in Alabama. Agee was famously ambivalent in his role, calling himself a spy and ultimately delivering a book-length manuscript unpublishable in magazine form. With this continuation of Agee and Evans’s work, Maharidge and Williamson not only uncover some surprising historical secrets relating to the families and to Agee himself, but also effectively lay to rest Agee’s fear that his work, from lack of reverence or resilience, would be but another offense to the humanity of its subjects.

Williamson’s 90-part photo essay includes updates alongside Evans’ classic originals.

Book:A Peace to End All Peace

A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East

David Fromkin

The critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling account of how the modern Middle East came into being after World War I, and why it is in upheaval today

In our time the Middle East has proven a battleground of rival religions, ideologies, nationalisms, and dynasties. All of these conflicts, including the hostilities between Arabs and Israelis that have flared yet again, come down, in a sense, to the extent to which the Middle East will continue to live with its political inheritance: the arrangements, unities, and divisions imposed upon the region by the Allies after the First World War.

In A Peace to End All Peace, David Fromkin reveals how and why the Allies came to remake the geography and politics of the Middle East, drawing lines on an empty map that eventually became the new countries of Iraq, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon.…[more]

Book:Wonderful Life

Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

Stephen Jay Gould

Tucked into the Canadian Rockies is a small limestone quarry formed 530 million years ago called the Burgess Shale. Discovered early in the century, the shale holds the remains of an ancient sea that nurtured more varities of life than can be found in all of our modern oceans.

Darwinian theory says that animals living so long ago were necessarily simple in design and limited in scope. But more recent interpretations unexpectedly reveal the great diversity locked in the shale.

Explosive stuff, for it blasts the belief that the history of life has been a broadening of options and challenges the idea that humans crown the evolutionary process.

Stephen Jay Gould advocates the role played in this process by chance. Things could easily have gone differently. It makes the reader wonder what might have been, and lets each of us provide our own answer.

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