The J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards

Established in 1998, the J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards recognize excellence in nonfiction that exemplifies the literary grace and commitment to serious research and social concern that characterized the work of the awards' Pulitzer Prize-winning namesake, J. Anthony Lukas, who died in 1997. Four awards are given: two J. Anthony Lukas Work-In-Progress Awards, the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and the Mark Lynton History Prize.

 

2018 Lukas Prizes Winners and Finalists

Columbia Journalism School and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard are pleased to announce the four winners and the two finalists of the 2018 Lukas Prizes. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on Thursday, May 10, 2018, at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.

The Lukas Prize Project marks its 20th anniversary this year. This is also the first year that two $25,000 Lukas Work-In-Progress Awards will be granted.

Read about this year’s Lukas Prizes winners and finalists HERE.

2018 Lukas Prizes Shortlist

The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard are pleased to announce the 2018 shortlist for the J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards - the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Awards, the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and the Mark Lynton History Prize. The Lukas Prize Project marks its 20th anniversary this year. 
 
The winners and finalists of the 2018 Lukas Prizes will be announced on March 27. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on May 10 at Columbia Journalism School in New York. Read more about the 15 shortlisted authors HERE

About

J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Awards

Two J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Awards, in the amount of $25,000, are given annually to aid in the completion of significant works of nonficition on topics of American political or social concern. Recognizing that a nonfiction book based on extensive research often overtaxes the resources available to its author, the project envisions the Awards as a way of closing the gap between the time and money an author has and the time and money that finishing a book requires.

 

J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize

The J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, in the amount of $10,000, is given annually to a book-length work of narrative nonfiction on a topic of American political or social concern that exemplifies the literary grace, commitment to serious research, and social responsibility that characterized the distinguished work of the award's namesake.

Mark Lynton History Prize

The Mark Lynton History Prize, in the amount of $10,000, is awarded to a book-length work of history on any topic that best combines intellectual distinction with felicity of expression. 

Lynton Scholarship Program

The Lynton scholarship program annually provides two research grants of $5,000 apiece to outstanding students in the Book Seminar class at Columbia Journalism School. These grants help support the reporting of narrative non-fiction books in the tradition of J. Anthony Lukas. Since the Lynton scholarships were first awarded in 2005, many of the student recipients have gone on to produce acclaimed books on subjects ranging from the destruction of the Great Lakes to the underworld of pop-music piracy to an early school desegregation case brought by a family of Chinese immigrants.
 
About J. Anthony Lukas
 
The winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award, J. Anthony Lukas published five epic books, each of which examined a critical fault line in America’s social and political landscape by examining individual lives caught up in the havoc of change.

A former foreign and national correspondent for The New York Times, Lukas tackled the country’s generational conflict in his first book “Don’t Shoot: We Are Your Children”; examined the impact of school desegregation in “Common Ground,” and told a sweeping tale of class conflict at the turn of the century in “Big Trouble,” completed just before his death in 1997.

His other books were “The Barnyard Epithet and Other Obscenities: Notes on the Chicago Conspiracy Trial” and “Nightmare: The Underside of the Nixon Years.”

Prof. Samuel G. Freedman on J. Anthony Lukas in Salon (June 12, 1997)

Robert W. Snyder on Lukas’ “Common Ground” in CJR (Sept./Oct. 2006)

About Mark Lynton

One of the three Lukas Prize Project Awards, the Mark Lynton History Prize, is named for the late Mark Lynton, a business executive and author of “Accidental Journey: A Cambridge Internee’s Memoir of World War II.” Lynton was an avid proponent of the writing of history, and the Lynton family has sponsored the Lukas Prize Project since its inception.

“I was born Max­ Otto Ludwig Loewenstein, in Stuttgart, Germany,” begins Mark Lynton’s autobiography, “Accidental Journey: A Cambridge Internee’s Memoir of World War II,” published in 1995 by The Overlook Press. A student at Cambridge University when WWII began, Lynton provides a witty account of his odyssey from internment at a Canadian detention camp to his return to England and, ultimately, enlistment in the British military, where he served for seven years. Assigned to the Pioneer Corps, Lynton later transferred to the Royal Tank Regiment, attaining the rank of captain. He completed his career with British Intelligence, interrogating German officers.

Born on April 16, 1920, Lynton moved to Berlin two years later when his father was named head of a major German car manufacturer. Raised by a Swiss nanny, Lynton was bilingual in French and German and was educated in Germany, France and England.

Lynton had a long career working for Citroen and was a senior executive at the firm Hunter Douglas in the Netherlands at the time of his death in 1997. His wife, Marion Lynton, and children, Lili and Michael, established the Mark Lynton History Prize as part of the Lukas Prize Project to honor Lynton, who was an avid reader of history. The Lynton family has generously underwritten the Lukas Prize Project since its inception in 1998.

How to Enter

The 2018 Lukas Prizes winners were announced on March 27, 2018. The 2019 Lukas Prizes will open for submissions in September 2018. 

J. Anthony Lukas Work­-in-­Progress Awards

Two J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Awards, in the amount of $25,000 are given annually to aid in the completion of a significant work of nonfiction on a topic of American political or social concern.

Recognizing that a nonfiction book based on extensive original research often overtaxes the resources available to its author, the project envisions the award as a way of closing the gap between the time and money an author has and the time and money that finishing a book requires.

Applicants for the award must already have a contract with a U.S.-based publisher to write a nonfiction book. The judges will make their decision on the basis of trying to achieve maximum impact on a promising book project. Therefore, their selection criteria will represent a blend of the merit of the book and the financial need of the author. For this reason, the judges will need to know the amount of the author’s advance, as well as any other financial support for the book, such as a grant.

Materials required for entry:

  • Completed entry form
  • A copy of the original book proposal
  • 50-75 pages from the work-in-progress
  • Photocopy of a contract with a publisher
  • An explanation of how the award will advance the progress of the book in a PDF format.
  • No entry fee is required for this prize.

J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize

The J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, in the amount of $10,000, is given annually to a book­-length work of narrative nonfiction on a topic of American political or social concern that exemplifies the literary grace, commitment to serious research, and social concern that characterized the distinguished work of the award’s namesake. 

Books must have been published in the United States between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017.  Anyone, including the author, may submit a book. Entry fees are non­-refundable.

Materials required for entry:

  • Four copies of each book.
  • A $75 entry fee per book. Payments via credit card are accepted at the time of the online application submission. Checks are also accepted. Make checks payable to “The Lukas Prize ­ Columbia University Awards” by January 30, 2018 or the entry will be disqualified. Fees for multiple entries should be made with one payment.

Mark Lynton History Prize

The Mark Lynton History Prize, in the amount of $10,000, is awarded to a book­-length work of history on any topic that best combines intellectual distinction with felicity of expression. 

Books must have been published in the United States between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. Anyone, including the author, may submit a book. Entry fees are non­-refundable.

Materials required for entry:

  • Four copies of each book.
  • A $75 entry fee per book. Payments via credit card are accepted at the time of the online submission. Checks are also accepted. Make checks payable to “The Lukas Prize ­ Columbia University Awards” by January 30, 2018 or the entry will be disqualified. Fees for multiple entries should be made with one payment.

Past Winners

See past winners:

   

Lukas Book Prize

Lynton History Prize

Lukas Work-In-Progress Award

2017 Winners Gary Younge

Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives

Tyler Anbinder

City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York

Christopher Leonard

Kochland

  Finalists Zachary Roth Adam Hochschild Helen Thorpe
  Shortlist Arlie Russell Hochschild

Nancy Isenberg

Jane Mayer

Ethan Michaeli

Joan Quigley

David Reid

Marie Mutsuki Mockett

Eyal Press

Richard Steven Street

  Jurors Charlie Conrad (chair), Nina Burleigh, Richard Joyce Sylvia Nasar (chair), Leon Dash, Stacy Schiff John Duff (chair), Martha Levin, Sarah Touborg

2016

Winners

Susan Southard

Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War

Nikolaus Wachsmann

KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps

Steve Luxenberg

Separate: A Story of Race, Ambition and the Battle That Brought Legal Segregation to America

 

Finalists

Dale Russakoff

Timothy Snyder

Blaire Briody

 

Shortlist

Adam Briggle

Kathryn J. Edin & H. Luke Shaefer

Stephen Witt

Sean McMeekin

Jan Jarboe Russell

T.J. Stiles

Sasha Issenberg

Steve Oney

Meredith Wadman

 

Jurors

Mark Kurlansky (chair), Charlie Conrad, Jonathan Mahler, Judy Pasternak

William Shinker (chair), Lynne Olson, Sylvia Nasar

John Duff, John Ryden, William Strachan

2015

Winners

Jenny Nordberg

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan

Harold Holzer

Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion

Dan Egan

Liquid Desert: Life and Death of the Great Lakes

 

Finalists

Joshua Davis

Andrew Roberts

Heather Ann Thompson

 

Jurors

Cris Beam, Mark Kurlansky, Tim Weiner

Henry William Brands, David M. Kennedy, William Shinker

Gerald Howard, Betty Prashker, David Sanger

2014

Winners

Sheri Fink

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

Jill Lepore

Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin

Adrienne Berard

When Yellow Was Black: The untold story of the first fight for desegregation in Southern schools

 

Finalists

Jonathan M. Katz

Christopher Clark

Yochi J. Dreazen

 

Jurors

Frances Negròn-Muntaner, Carlin Romano, Tim Weiner

Helen L. Horowitz, Richard Snow, Geoffrey C. Ward

Gerald Howard, Betty Prashker, David Sanger

2013

Winners

Andrew Solomon

Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity

Robert Caro

The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

Beth Macy

Factory Man

 

Finalists

Cynthia Carr

David Nasaw

Jim Robbins

 

Jurors

William Strachan, Tim Weiner, Ben Yagoda

Ellen Fitzpatrick, CS Manegold, Sylvia Nasar

Shaye Areheart, Gene Foreman, Bob Giles

2012

Winners

Daniel J. Sharfstein

The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White

Sophia Rosenfeld

Common Sense: A Political History

Jonathan M. Katz

The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster

 

Finalists

Manning Marable

Michael Willrich &

Craig Harline

Susan Southard

 

Jurors

Jeffrey Cowie, Jeffrey A. Frank, Steven Mihm, Isabel Wilkerson

Peter Galison, Samuel Moyn, Sylvia Nasar

Shaye Areheart, Dotty Brown, Susan McHenry, Mirta Ojito

2011

Winners

Eliza Griswold

The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam

Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration

Alex Tizon

Big Little Man: The Asian Male at the Dawn of the Asian Century

 

Finalists

Jefferson Cowie, Paul Greenberg, Siddartha Mukherjee

Patrick Wilcken

Joe Mozingo, Florence Williams

 

Jurors

Katherine Bouton, E.J. Dionne, David Finkel

Jane Kamensky, Suzanne Marchand, Matthew Stewart

Cecilia Balli, Donald Katz, Carlin Romano

2010

Winners

David Finkel

The Good Soldiers

James Davidson

The Greeks and Greek Love: A Bold New Exploration of the Ancient World

Jonathan Schuppe

Ghetto Ball: A Coach, His Team, and the Struggle of an American City

 

Finalists

Patrick Radden Keefe, Beryl Satter

Jenny Uglow

David Philipps

 

Jurors

Edward Alden, Ellen Goodman, Daniel Okrent

Timothy Brook, Andrew Meier, Laura Shapiro

Leslie Garis, Robin Marantz Henig, Craig Unger

2009

Winners

Jane Mayer

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

Timothy Brook

Vermeer’s Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World

Judy Pasternak

Yellow Dirt: The Betrayal of the Navajos

 

Finalists

Edward Alden, Masha Gessen

Annette Gordon-Reed, Joe Jackson, William I. Hitchcock

 
 

Jurors

David Michaelis, Patricia O’Toole, Walter Shapiro

Richard Bernstein, Maya Jasanoff, Patrick Keefe

Michelle Goldberg, Janet Silver, Robert Whitaker

2008

Winners

Jeffrey Toobin

The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court

Peter Silver

Our Savage Neighbors: How Indian War Transformed Early America

Michelle Goldberg

The Means of Reproduction

 

Finalists

Alan Weisman

Ramachandra Guha, Saul Friedlander

Lyanda Lynn Haupt, Cecilia Balli

 

Jurors

Connie Bruck, Patricia Nelson Limerick, Jonathan Weiner

Fred Anderson, Caroline Elkins, Jane Kramer

Kennedy Fraser, Samuel G. Freedman, Suzannah Lessard

2007

Winners

Lawrence Wright

The Looming Tower: Al Quaeda and the Road to 9/11

James T. Campbell

Middle Passages: African American Journeys to Africa, 1787-2005

Robert Whitaker

Twelve Condemned to Die: Scipio Africanus Jones and The Struggle for Justice That Remade a Nation

 

Finalists

Taylor Branch, Michael Isikoff &

David Corn, Melissa Faye Greene

Marci Shore, Peniel E. Joseph

Michael Punke

 

Jurors

Kai Bird, Nate Blakeslee, Patricia Bosworth

Akira Iriye, Michael Johnson, Bonnie G. Smith

Francis X. Clines, Elinor Langer, Joan Quigley

2006

Winners

Nate Blakeslee

Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town

Megan Marshall

The Peabody Sisters: Three Women who Ignited American Romanticism

Laura Claridge

Emily Post and the Rise of Practical Feminism

 

Finalists

Kurt Eichenwald, Kai Bird & Martin Sherwin

Tony Judt

Bruce Barcott, Dudley Clendinen

 

Jurors

Joe Conason, John Darnton, Elizabeth Kolbert

Robert Harms, Louis Masur, Natalie Zemon Davis

Susan Braudy, Kevin Coyne, Richard Pollak

2005

Winners

Evan Wright

Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War

Richard Steven Street

Beasts of the Field: A Narrative History of California Farmworkers, 1769-1913

Joan Quigley

Home Fires

 

Finalists

Jason DeParle

Melvin Patrick Ely

Amy Bach, Steven Greenhouse

 

Jurors

Tom Edsall, David Maraniss, Elizabeth Rubin

John Demos, Carla Hesse, Paul Robinson

Mark Danner, Thomas Geoghegan, Samantha Power

2004

Winners

David Maraniss

They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967

Rebecca Solnit

River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West

John Bowe

Slavery Inc.

 

Finalists

Steve Oney, Franklin Toker

Anne Applebaum, Steven Hahn

Eyal Press, Beryl Satter

 

Jurors

James Fallows, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, Sylvia Nasar

Edward Berenson, Adam Hochschild, Christine Stansell

Madeleine Blais, James Tobin, Alec Wilkinson

2003

Winners

Samantha Power

Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide

Robert Harms

The Diligent: A Voyage Through the Worlds of the Slave Trade

Suzannah Lessard

Mapping the New World: An Inquiry into the Meaning of Sprawl

 

Finalists

 

Bruce D. Butterfield

Orlando Figes, Steven Stoll

 

Jurors

Diane McWhorter, David Nasaw, Richard Reeves

David A. Bell, Michael Kazin, Roy Rosenzweig

Katherine Boo, Nicholas Dawidoff, David M. Kennedy

2002

Winners

Diane McWhorter

Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution

Mark Roseman

A Past in Hiding: Memory and Survival in Nazi Germany

Jacques Leslie

On Dams

 

Finalists

 

David Kertzer, James Secord

Harry Bruinius, Richard Steven Street

 

Jurors

Susan Faludi, William Finnegan, George Packer

Nancy Cott, Thomas Laqueur, David Rothman

Ted Conover, Jonathan Harr, Sara Mosle

2001

Winners

David Nasaw

The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst

Fred Anderson

Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766

Max Holland

A Need to Know: Inside the Warren Commission

 

Finalists

Kurt Eichenwald, Ted Gup

William Duiker

Elinor Langer

 

Jurors

Alex Kotlowitz, Jane Mayer, Isabel Wilkerson

Eric Foner, David Kertzer, Karen Ordahl Kupperman

Nancy Hicks Maynard, Thomas Powers, Rebecca Sinkler

2000

Winners

Witold Rybczynski

A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the Nineteenth Century

John W. Dower

Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II

James Tobin

Work of the Wind: A Remarkable Family, an Overlooked Genius, and the Race for Flight

 

Finalists

   

Larry Tye, Laura Bridgman

 

Jurors

A. Scott Berg, Frances FitzGerald, Henry Mayer

Pauline Maier, Theodore Rabb, Geoffrey Ward

Justin Kaplan, David Laventhol, Susan Sheehan

1999

Winners

Henry Mayer

All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery

Adam Hochschild

King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa

Kevin Coyne

The Best Years of Their Lives: One Town’s Veterans and How They Changed the World

 

Jurors

David Burnham, Melissa Fay Greene, Jonathan Yardley

David Levering Lewis, Patricia Nelson Limerick, Richard Snow

Samuel G. Freedman, Cynthia Gorney, Tracy Kidde

 

Board

CHAIR
Jonathan Alter, Author and senior editor, is chair of the J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Committee.

Shaye Areheart, Director of the Columbia Publishing Course, Columbia Journalism School

Colin Diver, Former president, Reed College

Samuel G. Freedman, Professor, Columbia Journalism School

Phyllis Grann, Editor

Linda Healey, Editor and Mr. Lukas’s widow

Don Katz, Founder and CEO of Audible, Inc.

Nicholas Lemann, Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism; dean emeritus, Columbia Journalism School

Ann Marie Lipinski, Curator, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University

Lili Lynton, Daughter of the late Mark Lynton and owner of Dinex Corp

Pamela Paul, Editor, The New York Times Book Review

Abi Wright, Executive director of prizes, Columbia Journalism School

Contact

Caroline Martinet Wernecke, Program Manager, Professional Prizes
212-854-6468
cm3443@columbia.edu

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