Annal: 2010 Pulitzer Prize for History

Results of the Pulitzer Prize in the year 2010.

Book:Lords of Finance

Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World

Liaquat Ahamed

With a keen sense of history and compelling narrative skills, Liaquat Ahamed gives us a vivid and dramatic account of four men whose actions led to the world economic collapse of the late 1920s.

Many of us presume that the Great Depression resulted from a confluence of inexorable forces beyond any one person’s or government’s control. In fact, as economist Liaquat Ahamed explains, it was decisions taken by a small number of central bankers that were the primary cause of the economic meltdown.

Meet the neurotic and enigmatic Montagu Norman of the Bank of England; the xenophobic and suspicious Emile Moreau of the Banque de France; the arrogant yet brilliant Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichsbank; and the dynamic Benjamin Strong of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. These men were as prominent then as Alan Greenspan and Hank Paulson are in our time.

Lords of Finance brings a fresh perspective on the origins of financial crises and an arresting reminder that its individuals who lie at the heart of global catastrophe.

Book:Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic

Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815

Gordon S. Wood

The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize winners, two New York Times bestsellers, and winners of the Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. Now, in the newest volume in the series, one of America’s most esteemed historians, Gordon S. Wood, offers a brilliant account of the early American Republic, ranging from 1789 and the beginning of the national government to the end of the War of 1812.

As Wood reveals, the period was marked by tumultuous change in all aspects of American life—in politics, society, economy, and culture. The men who founded the new government had high hopes for the future, but few of their hopes and dreams worked out quite as they expected. They hated political parties but parties nonetheless emerged. Some wanted the United States to become a great fiscal-military state like those of Britain and France; others wanted the country to remain a rural agricultural state very…[more]

Book:Fordlandia

Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City

Greg Grandin

The stunning, never before told story of the quixotic attempt to recreate small-town America in the heart of the Amazon.

In 1927, Henry Ford, the richest man in the world, bought a tract of land twice the size of Delaware in the Brazilian Amazon. His intention was to grow rubber, but the project rapidly evolved into a more ambitious bid to export America itself, along with its golf courses, ice-cream shops, bandstands, indoor plumbing, and Model Ts rolling down broad streets.

Fordlandia, as the settlement was called, quickly became the site of an epic clash. On one side was the car magnate, lean, austere, the man who reduced industrial production to its simplest motions; on the other, the Amazon, lush, extravagant, the most complex ecological system on the planet. Ford’s early success in imposing time clocks and square dances on the jungle soon collapsed, as indigenous workers, rejecting his midwestern Puritanism, turned the place into a ribald tropical boomtown. Fordlandia’s…[more]

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