Annal: 1992 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest

Results of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the year 1992.

Book:The End of History and the Last Man

The End of History and the Last Man

Francis Fukuyama

Fukuyama’s profound inquiry leads the reader to the question of whether humanity will eventually reach a stable state in which it is at last completely satisfied, or whether there is something about the condition of humans that will always lead them to smash this ultimate equilibrium and plunge the world back into chaos.

Book:Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics

Thomas Byrne Edsall, Mary D. Edsall

Three volatile issues—race, rights, and taxes—drive American politics today. They have come to intersect with an entire range of domestic issues, from welfare policy to suburban zoning practices. In an explosive chain reaction, a new conservative voting majority has replaced the once-dominant Democratic presidential coalition, and a new polarization has pitted major segments of society against one another.

How did this massive power shift occur? Thomas Byrne Edsall of the Washington Post and Mary D. Edsall provide answers in this compelling analysis, cited by Newsweek as “[one of] the books that shape[d] the debate” in the 1992 presidential campaign.

Book:Culture Wars

Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America

James Davison Hunter

A trenchant commentary on the meaning of the battle between the new religious right and left, and how fundamentalists and progressives are engaged in a moral struggle to control the family, art, education, law, politics, and every aspect of American life.

Book:Den of Thieves

Den of Thieves

James B. Stewart

A number-one bestseller from coast to coast, Den of Thieves tells, in masterfully reported detail, the full story of the insider-trading scandal that nearly destroyed Wall Street, the men who pulled it off, and the chase that finally brought them to justice. Pulitzer Prize winner James B. Stewart shows for the first time how four of the biggest names on Wall Street—Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky, Martin Siegel, and Dennis Levine—created the greatest insider-trading ring in financial history and almost walked away with billions, until a team of downtrodden detectives triumphed over some of America’s most expensive lawyers to bring this powerful quartet to justice.

Based on secret grand jury transcripts, interviews, and actual trading records, and containing explosive new revelations about Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky written especially for this paperback edition, Den of Thieves weaves all the facts into an unforgettable narrative—a portrait of human nature, big business, and crime of unparalleled proportions.

Book:The Lady and the Monk

The Lady and the Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto

Pico Iyer

When Pico Iyer decided to go to Kyoto and live in a monastery, he did so to learn about Zen Buddhism from the inside, to get to know Kyoto, one of the loveliest old cities in the world, and to find out something about Japanese culture today—not the world of businessmen and production lines, but the traditional world of changing seasons and the silence of temples, of the images woven through literature, of the lunar Japan that still lives on behind the rising sun of geopolitical power.

All this he did. And then he met Sachiko.

Vivacious, attractive, thoroughly educated, speaking English enthusiastically if eccentrically, the wife of a Japanese “salaryman” who seldom left the office before 10 P.M., Sachiko was as conversant with tea ceremony and classical Japanese literature as with rock music, Goethe, and Vivaldi. With the lightness of touch that made Video Night in Kathmandu so captivating, Pico Iyer fashions from their relationship a marvelously ironic yet heartfelt book that is at once a portrait of cross-cultural infatuation—and misunderstanding—and a delightfully fresh way of seeing both the old Japan and the very new.

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