Annal: 2004 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction

Results of the Pulitzer Prize in the year 2004.

Book:Gulag: A History

Gulag: A History

Anne Applebaum

The Gulag—the vast array of Soviet concentration camps—was a system of repression and punishment whose rationalized evil and institutionalized inhumanity were rivaled only by the Holocaust.

The Gulag entered the world’s historical consciousness in 1972, with the publication of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s epic oral history of the Soviet camps, The Gulag Archipelago. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, dozens of memoirs and new studies covering aspects of that system have been published in Russia and the West. Using these new resources as well as her own original historical research, Anne Applebaum has now undertaken, for the first time, a fully documented history of the Soviet camp system, from its origins in the Russian Revolution to its collapse in the era of glasnost. It is an epic feat of investigation and moral reckoning that places the Gulag where it belongs: at the center of our understanding of the troubled history of the twentieth…[more]

Book:The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America's Military

The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America's Military

Dana Priest

Walk with America’s generals, grunts, and Green Berets through the maze of unconventional wars and unsettled peace.

Four-star generals who lead the military during wartime reign like proconsuls abroad in peacetime. Secretive Green Berets trained to hunt down terrorists are assigned to seduce ruthless authoritarian regimes. Pimply young soldiers taught to seize airstrips instead play mayor, detective, and social worker in a gung-ho but ill-fated attempt to rebuild a nation after the fighting stops.

The Mission is a boots-on-the-ground account of America’s growing dependence on our military to manage world affairs, describing a clash of culture and purpose through the eyes of soldiers and officers themselves. With unparalleled access to all levels of the military, Dana Priest traveled to eighteen countries—including Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Colombia, Kosovo, Indonesia,…[more]

Book:Rembrandt's Jews

Rembrandt's Jews

Steven Nadler, Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn

There is a popular and romantic myth about Rembrandt and the Jewish people. One of history’s greatest artists, we are often told, had a special affinity for Judaism. With so many of Rembrandt’s works devoted to stories of the Hebrew Bible, and with his apparent penchant for Jewish themes and the sympathetic portrayal of Jewish faces, it is no wonder that the myth has endured for centuries.

Rembrandt’s Jews puts this myth to the test as it examines both the legend and the reality of Rembrandt’s relationship to Jews and Judaism. In his elegantly written and engrossing tour of Jewish Amsterdam—which begins in 1633 as workers are repairing Rembrandt’s Portuguese-Jewish neighbor’s house and completely disrupting the artist’s life and livelihood—Steven Nadler tells us the stories of the artist’s portraits of Jewish sitters, of his mundane and often contentious dealings with his…[more]

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