Annal: 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest

Results of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the year 2008.

Book:Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency

Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency

Barton Gellman

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barton Gellman’s newsbreaking investigative journalism documents how Vice President Dick Cheney redefined the role of the American vice presidency, assuming unprecedented responsibilities and making it a post of historic power.

Dick Cheney changed history, defining his times and shaping a White House as no vice president has before— yet concealing most of his work from public view. Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman parts the curtains of secrecy to show how Cheney operated, why, and what he wrought.

Angler, Gellman’s embargoed and highly explosive book, is a work of careful, concrete, and original reporting backed by hundreds of interviews with close Cheney allies as well as rivals, many speaking candidly on the record for the first time.…[more]

Book:The Bin Ladens

The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century

Steve Coll

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and author of the national bestseller Ghost Wars, Steve Coll presents the story of the Bin Laden family’s rise to power and privilege, revealing new information to show how American influences changed the family and how one member’s rebellion changed America.

The Bin Ladens rose from poverty to privilege; they loyally served the Saudi royal family for generations-and then one of their number changed history on September 11, 2001. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll tells the epic story of the rise of the Bin Laden family and of the wildly diverse lifestyles of the generation to which Osama bin Laden belongs, and against whom he rebelled. Starting with the family’s escape from famine at the beginning of the twentieth century through its jet-set era in America after the 1970s oil boom, and finally to the family’s attempts to recover from September 11, The Bin Ladens unearths…[more]

Book:The Dark Side

The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals

Jane Mayer

A dramatic and damning narrative account of how America has fought the “War on Terror”

In the days immediately following September 11th, the most powerful people in the country were panic-stricken. The radical decisions about how to combat terrorists and strengthen national security were made in a state of utter chaos and fear, but the key players, Vice President Dick Cheney and his powerful, secretive adviser David Addington, used the crisis to further a long held agenda to enhance Presidential powers to a degree never known in U.S. history, and obliterate Constitutional protections that define the very essence of the American experiment.

The Dark Side is a dramatic, riveting, and definitive narrative account of how the United States made terrible decisions in the pursuit of terrorists around the world—decisions that not only violated the Constitution to which White House officials…[more]

Book:The Forever War (Filkins)

The Forever War

Dexter Filkins

From the front lines of the battle against Islamic fundamentalism, a searing, unforgettable book that captures the human essence of the greatest conflict of our time.

Through the eyes of Dexter Filkins, the prizewinning New York Times correspondent whose work was hailed by David Halberstam as “reporting of the highest quality imaginable,” we witness the remarkable chain of events that began with the rise of the Taliban in the 1990s, continued with the attacks of 9/11, and moved on to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Filkins’s narrative moves across a vast and various landscape of amazing characters and astonishing scenes: deserts, mountains, and streets of carnage; a public amputation performed by Taliban; children frolicking in minefields; skies streaked white by the contrails of B-52s; a night’s sleep in the rubble of Ground Zero. …[more]

Book:My Stroke of Insight

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey

Jill Bolte Taylor

A brain scientist’s journey from a debilitating stroke to full recovery becomes an inspiring exploration of human consciousness and its possibilities.

On the morning of December 10, 1996 Jill Bolte Taylor, a thirty-seven-year-old Harvard-trained brain scientist experienced a massive stroke when a blood vessel exploded in the left side of her brain. A neuroanatomist by profession, she observed her own mind completely deteriorate to the point that she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life, all within the space of four brief hours. As the damaged left side of her brain—the rational, grounded, detail and time-oriented side—swung in and out of function, Taylor alternated between two distinct and opposite realties: the euphoric nirvana of the intuitive and kinesthetic right brain, in which she felt a sense of complete well-being and peace; and the logical, sequential left brain, which…[more]

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