It Has Come to My Attention; Book Prizes and Finalists, 2015. Part D.
Louis Armstrong; The Master of Modernism by Thomas Brothers. W.W. Norton, 2015 paper. A discussion mostly of Armstrong’s music, rooted in African music and the blues. Pulitzer Prize.
Stalin; Volume l: Paradoxes of Power, 1878 to 1928 by Stephen Kotkin. Penguin Press, 2014. From where did Stalin’s power come? Kotkin looks at the Bolshevik regime’s inner geography for the answer. Pulitzer Prize
No Good Men Among the Living; America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes by Anand Gopal. Picador, 2015 paper. A devastating critique of our intervention of the Afghani civil war against the Taliban. Pulitzer Prize.
Age of Ambition; Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015 paper. Hope and despair, idealism and crassness, mass social action and chaotic individual scheming: China’s gilded age. Pulitzer Prize.
Just Mercy; A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. Spiegel & Grau, 2015 paper. The tragic character of incarceration in this country, both of the guilty and the innocent, most of them poor. National Book Critics Award.
Thirteen Days in September; The Dramatic Story of the Struggle for Peace by Lawrence Wright. Vintage, 2015 paper. In September 1978 Menachem Begin, Anwar Sadat, and President Jimmy Carter came up with an agreement that has become the basis of a shaky but enduring truce.
Becoming Ottomans; Sephardic Jews and Imperial Citizenship in the Modern Era by Julia Cohen. Oxford University Press, 2014. An account of the Jewish political integration into this modern Islamic state beginning with Jewish emancipation, a series of reforms between 1839 and 1876. National Jewish Book Award.
Coming to Pass; Florida’s Coastal Islands in a Gulf of Change by Susan Cerulean. University of Georgia Press, 2105. The genesis of Florida’s Gulf Coast islands and their genesis, which is tied to the Apalachicola River. Florida Book Awards.
George Merrick; Son of the South Wind; Visionary Creator of Coral Gables by Arva Parks. University of Florida Press, 2015. Merrik transformed his family’s citrus grove outside Miami into a planned community in the ‘Mediterranean Style’ using local stone and investing in substantial infrastructure. Florida Book Awards.
Defining Duty in the Civil War; Personal Choice, Popular Culture, and the Union Home Front by J. Matthew Gallman. University of North Carolina Press, 2015. How the North understood the meaning of duty and citizenship in a long civil war. Florida Book Awards.
Factory Man; How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local – and Helped Save an American Town by Beth Macy. Back Bay, 2015 paper. The Bassett Furniture Company, once the world’s biggest wood furniture manufacturer and the center of work in Bassett, Virginia, finally lost its battle with Asian imports. Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.