Special Collections

National Book Award Winners - Non-Fiction

Description: The National Book Awards are presented annually "to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America." Here we present the Non-Fiction medal winners. #award #adults


Showing 76 through 85 of 85 results
 

The Soul of a New Machine

by Tracy Kidder

Computers have changed since 1981, when Tracy Kidder memorably recorded the drama, comedy, and excitement of one company's efforts to bring a new microcomputer to market. What has not changed is the feverish pace of the high-tech industry, the go-for-broke approach to business that has caused so many computer companies to win big (or go belly up), and the cult of pursuing mind-bending technological innovations. The Soul of a New Machine is an essential chapter in the history of the machine that revolutionized the world in the twentieth century.

Winner of the National Book Award

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 1982

Samuel Johnson

by Walter Jackson Bate

W. Jackson Bate's Samuel Johnson has been hailed as a supreme example of the biographer's art and the first great modern life of Johnson. Bate's work is literary biography at its finest, delving into the character that formed Johnson's awesome intellect and fueled his prodigious output.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Winner of the National Book Award

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 1978

The Worst Hard Time

by Timothy Egan

The author, Timothy Egan, tells a touching story of the individuals and families that survived the depression and the great American dust bowl during the 1930's through walking the land, diaries of survivors and talking with those individuals who lived through Black Sunday and still live in the high plains, which came to be known as the dust bowl. These stories focus around the towns of Dalhart and Boise in the Texas panhandle and how, when the soil of the plains took to the air, after millions of acres of prairie grass was plowed under and for months blew 20 plus days out of 30, with temperatures in the 120 degree range or dropped below zero while farmers huddled in dugouts in the ground, mothers watched their children die of dust pneumonia, they still held to the land. As the decade wore on, FDR's new deal programs attempted to assist the families of the high plains and struggled with the greatest ecological disaster of our country.

Winner of the National Book Award

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2006

Anarchy, State, and Utopia

by Robert Nozick

In this brilliant and widely acclaimed book, winner of the 1975 National Book Award, Robert Nozick challenges the most commonly held political and social positions of our age?liberal, socialist, and conservative.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 1975

The First Tycoon

by T. J. Stiles

A gripping, groundbreaking biography of the combative man whose genius and force of will created modern capitalism.

Founder of a dynasty, builder of the original Grand Central, creator of an impossibly vast fortune, Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt is an American icon. Humbly born on Staten Island during George Washington's presidency, he rose from boatman to builder of the nation's largest fleet of steamships to lord of a railroad empire. Lincoln consulted him on steamship strategy during the Civil War; Jay Gould was first his uneasy ally and then sworn enemy; and Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president of the United States, was his spiritual counselor. We see Vanderbilt help to launch the transportation revolution, propel the Gold Rush, reshape Manhattan, and invent the modern corporation--in fact, as T. J. Stiles elegantly argues, Vanderbilt did more than perhaps any other individual to create the economic world we live in today.

In The First Tycoon, Stiles offers the first complete, authoritative biography of this titan, and the first comprehensive account of the Commodore's personal life. It is a sweeping, fast-moving epic, and a complex portrait of the great man. Vanderbilt, Stiles shows, embraced the philosophy of the Jacksonian Democrats and withstood attacks by his conservative enemies for being too competitive. He was a visionary who pioneered business models. He was an unschooled fistfighter who came to command the respect of New York's social elite. And he was a father who struggled with a gambling-addicted son, a husband who was loving yet abusive, and, finally, an old man who was obsessed with contacting the dead.

The First Tycoon is the exhilarating story of a man and a nation maturing together: the powerful account of a man whose life was as epic and complex as American history itself.

Winner of the National Book Award

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2009

The Gnostic Gospels

by Elaine Pagels

Discussion of early church writings discovered in 1945, and of how Christianity evolved.

Winner of the National Book Award

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 1980

An American Requiem

by James Carroll

An American Requiem is the story of one man's coming of age. But more than that, it is a coming to terms with the conflicts that disrupted many families, inflicting personal wounds that were also social, political, and religious. Carroll grew up in a Catholic family that seemed blessed. His father had abandoned his own dream of becoming a priest to rise through the ranks of Hoover's FBI and then become one of the most powerful men in the Pentagon, the founder of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Young Jim lived the privileged life of a general's son, dating the daughter of a vice president and meeting the pope, all in the shadow of nuclear war, waiting for the red telephone to ring in his parents' house. He worshiped his father until Martin Luther King, Jr., the civil rights movement, turmoil in the Catholic Church, and then Vietnam combined to outweigh the bond between father and son. These were issues on which they would never agree. Only after Carroll left the priesthood to become a writer and husband with children of his own did he come to understand fully the struggles his father had faced. In this work of nonfiction, the best-selling novelist draws on the skills he honed with nine much-admired novels to tell the story he was, literally, born to tell. An American Requiem is a benediction on his father's lief, his family's struggles, and the legacies of an entire generation.

Winner of the National Book Award

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 1996

Between the World and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.”

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

Winner of the National Book Award

Winner of the 2016 Alex Award (10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences)

Nominee for the 2018 Young Reader's Choice Award (Pacific Northwest Library Association)

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2015

The Haunted Land

by Tina Rosenberg

The Haunted Land is a look at how four newly democratic eastern European nations are dealing with the memories of forty years of communism. As one official orthodoxy replaces another, the people and governments of Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia face ethical dilemmas as complex and wrenching as anything out of Kafka or Orwell. In the greatest moral drama of our time, Communist totalitarianism drew well-intentioned, even idealistic people into horrible crimes. Now, as formerly Communist nations attempt to atone for the past, there is the everpresent temptation to rewrite history to suit the demands of the present. Tina Rosenberg s journalistic triumph is to put a human face on the abstractions of intrigue and betrayal, memory and ideology. The stories in this book take place not just in the highest councils of government and courts of law, but also in smoky pubs and the most private chambers of the soul. The Haunted Land shows how people struggle with their own definitions of guilt as they learn their betrayers were their husbands, fathers, and best friends.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Winner of the National Book Award

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 1995

The Panda's Thumb

by Stephen Jay Gould

Were dinosaurs really dumber than lizards? Why, after ?all, are roughly the same number of men and women born into the world? What led the famous Dr. Down to his theory of mongolism, and its racist residue? What do the panda's magical "thumb" and the sea turtle's perilous migration tell us about imperfections that prove the evolutionary rule? The wonders and mysteries of evolutionary biology are elegantly explored in these and other essays by the celebrated natural history writer Stephen Jay Gould.

Winner of the National Book Award

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 1981


Showing 76 through 85 of 85 results