Annal: 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Biography

Results of the Pulitzer Prize in the year 1995.

Book:Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life

Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life

Joan D. Hedrick

“Up to this year I have always felt that I had no particular call to meddle with this subject….But I feel now that the time is come when even a woman or a child who can speak a word for freedom and humanity is bound to speak.” Thus did Harriet Beecher Stowe announce her decision to begin work on what would become one of the most influential novels ever written. The subject she had hesitated to “meddle with” was slavery, and the novel, of course, was Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Still debated today for its portrayal of African Americans and its unresolved place in the literary canon, Stowe’s best-known work was first published in weekly installments from June 5, 1851 to April 1, 1852. It caused such a stir in both the North and South, and even in Great Britain, that when Stowe met President Lincoln in 1862 he is said to have greeted her with the words, “So you are the little woman who wrote the book that created this great war!” …[more]

Book:Hugo Black

Hugo Black: A Biography

Roger K. Newman

Hugo Black’s odyssey was long, varied, unlikely, and remarkably successful. It began in 1886 in the Alabama hill country and ended in 1971, when Americans were demonstrating in the streets. As a United States senator from 1927 to 1937 and then for thirty-four years on the United States Supreme Court as its most passionate civil libertarian, Black fought for the rights and welfare of all people.

Here is the first full-scale biography of this commanding figure. Never before has the story been so richly told. Roger Newman reveals much we did not know—about Black’s activities in the Ku Klux Klan and the furor over his appointment by FDR to the Supreme Court. He takes us behind the scenes at the Court and into its secret conferences, showing us the preparation of opinions and explaining the relationships among the justices. …[more]

Book:Saint Exupéry

Saint Exupéry: A Biography

Stacy Schiff

Stacy Schiff has brought Saint-Exupery wonderfully to life in this definitive biography of the enchanting and complex man. Drawing on dramatic new material, she provides full accounts of his many harrowing plunges to earth, the most serious of which led to the publication of Wind, Sand and Stars, and of his unhappy yet fertile years in New York, where he wrote both Flight to Arras and The Little Prince. She includes entirely fresh information on his career as an Allied war pilot as well as a heartbreaking portrait of him as a Frenchman without a country—and without any politics—in 1940. Deftly, she explores his tortured relationships with his wife and with other women, drawing on many unpublished letters and on her extensive interviews with his friends and his lovers. And she sets him superbly in the context of an era increasingly at odds with his courtly personality and romantic vision.

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