Annal: 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Biography

Results of the Pulitzer Prize in the year 2007.

Book:The Most Famous Man in America

The Most Famous Man in Amerca: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher

Debby Applegate

Henry Ward Beecher was, for much of the nineteenth century, America's most widely known public figure. In place of his own preacher father’s fire-and-brimstone theology, Beecher preached a gospel of unconditional love and forgiveness, giving us the Christianity we have today. Men such as Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, and Twain befriended—and sometimes parodied—him.

And then it fell apart. Beecher was accused by feminist firebrand Victoria Woodhull of adultery with his best friend’s wife, and the cuckolded Theodore Tilton brought charges of “criminal conversation,” leading to a salacious trial that was the most widely covered event of the nineteenth century, garnering, by some counts, more headlines than the entire Civil War.

Book:Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie

David Nasaw

Majestically told and based on materials not available to any previous biographer, the definitive life of Andrew Carnegie-one of American business’s most iconic and elusive titans-by the bestselling author of The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst.

Celebrated historian David Nasaw, whom The New York Times Book Review has called “a meticulous researcher and a cool analyst,” brings new life to the story of one of America’s most famous and successful businessmen and philanthropists- in what will prove to be the biography of the season.

Born of modest origins in Scotland in 1835, Andrew Carnegie is best known as the founder of Carnegie Steel. His rags to riches story has never been told as dramatically and vividly as in Nasaw’s new biography. Carnegie, the son of an impoverished…[more]

Book:John Wilkes

John Wilkes: The Scandalous Father of Civil Liberty

Arthur H. Cash

One of the most colorful figures in English political history, John Wilkes (1726–97) is remembered as the father of the British free press, defender of civil and political liberties, and hero to American colonists, who attended closely to his outspoken endorsements of liberty. Wilkes’s political career was rancorous, involving duels, imprisonments in the Tower of London, and the Massacre of St. George’s Fields in which seven of his supporters were shot to death by government troops. He was equally famous for his “private” life—a confessed libertine, a member of the notorious Hellfire Club, and the author of what has been called the dirtiest poem in the English language.

This lively biography draws a full portrait of John Wilkes from his childhood days through his heyday as a journalist and agitator, his defiance of government prosecutions for libel and obscenity, his fight against exclusion from Parliament, and his…[more]

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