Annal: 2012 Pulitzer Prize for History

Results of the Pulitzer Prize in the year 2012.

Book:Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

Manning Marable

Years in the making—the definitive biography of the legendary black activist.

Of the great figure in twentieth-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins’ bullets at age thirty-nine. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world.

Manning Marable’s new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America, from the rise of…[more]

Book:The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden

The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden

Anthony Summers, Robbyn Swan

Writing with access to thousands of recently released official documents, fresh interviews, and the perspective that can come only from a decade of research and reflection, Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan deliver the first panoramic, authoritative look back at 9/11.

For most living Americans, September 11, 2001, is the darkest date in the nation’s history. What exactly happened? Could it have been prevented? How and why did so much acrimony and bad information arise from the ashes of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a quiet field in Pennsylvania? And what remains unresolved? What is certain: Discord and dissent continue to this day.

Beginning with the first brutal actions of the hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11, The Eleventh Day tracks…[more]

Book:Empires, Nations & Families

Empires, Nations & Families: A History of the North American West, 1800-1860

Anne F. Hyde

To most people living in the West, the Louisiana Purchase made little difference: the United States was just another imperial overlord to be assessed and manipulated. This was not, as Empires, Nations, and Families makes clear, virgin wilderness discovered by virtuous Anglo entrepreneurs. Rather, the United States was a newcomer in a place already complicated by vying empires. This book documents the broad family associations that crossed national and ethnic lines and that, along with the river systems of the trans-Mississippi West, formed the basis for a global trade in furs that had operated for hundreds of years before the land became part of the United States.

Empires, Nations, and Families shows how the world of river and maritime trade effectively shifted political power away from military and diplomatic circles into the hands of local people. Tracing family stories from the Canadian North to the…[more]

Book:Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America

Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America

Richard White

A new, incisive history of the transcontinental railroads and how they transformed America in the decades after the Civil War.

The transcontinental railroads of the late nineteenth century were the first corporate behemoths. Their attempts to generate profits from proliferating debt sparked devastating panics in the U.S. economy. Their dependence on public largess drew them into the corridors of power, initiating new forms of corruption. Their operations rearranged space and time, and remade the landscape of the West. As wheel and rail, car and coal, they opened new worlds of work and ways of life. Their discriminatory rates sparked broad opposition and a new antimonopoly politics.

With characteristic originality, range, and authority, Richard White shows the transcontinentals to be pivotal actors…[more]

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