An award, not of the Pulitzer variety

If you read the Iliad, you know that people have been giving each other prizes for quite some time. Today the Pulitzer Prize Board announced its winners for 2011. While there is no Pulitzer category for archery, the Board decided that two books from notable Columbia professors hit the mark.

Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History, won the prize for history with his book The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery. At this point, it is impossible to tell if Foner’s scholarly work benefitted from the Colbert Bump. While that analysis is pending, we direct you to our in-depth coverage of the book’s launch event last October. This is not the only award Foner has picked up for his most recent book—he won the 2011 Bancroft Prize (his second) as well.

Siddhartha Mukherjee, Assistant Professor of Medicine, won the prize for general nonfiction with his book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. The book, which traces the diagnoses and treatments of cancer from ancient times through the present, has landed on numerous top 10 lists since its release last year, garnering praise for its literary, as well as scientific, merit.

The full list, including Columbia alum Zhou Long, is after the jump!


  • PUBLIC SERVICE – Los Angeles Times
  • INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING – Paige St. John of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune
  • EXPLANATORY REPORTING – Mark Johnson, Kathleen, Gallagher, Gary Porter, Lou Saldivar and Alison Sherwood of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • LOCAL REPORTING – Frank Main, Mark Konkol and John J. Kim of the Chicago Sun-Times
  • NATIONAL REPORTING – Jesse Eisinger and Jake Bernstein of ProPublica
  • INTERNATIONAL REPORTING – Clifford J. Levy and Ellen Barry of The New York Times
  • FEATURE WRITING – Amy Ellis Nutt of The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.
  • COMMENTARY – David Leonhardt of The New York Times
  • CRITICISM – Sebastian Smee of The Boston Globe
  • EDITORIAL WRITING – Joseph Rago of The Wall Street Journal
  • EDITORIAL CARTOONING – Mike Keefe of The Denver Post
  • BREAKING NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY – Carol Guzy, Nikki Kahn and Ricky Carioti of The Washington Post
  • FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY – Barbara Davidson of the Los Angeles Times

Letters, Drama and Music

  • FICTION – “A Visit from the Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan (Alfred A. Knopf)
  • DRAMA – “Clybourne Park” by Bruce Norris
  • HISTORY – “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery” by Eric Foner (W. W. Norton & Company)
  • BIOGRAPHY – “Washington: A Life” by Ron Chernow (The Penguin Press)
  • POETRY – “The Best of It: New and Selected Poems” by Kay Ryan (Grove Press)
  • GENERAL NONFICTION – “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” by Siddhartha Mukherjee (Scribner)
  • MUSIC – “Madame White Snake’” by Zhou Long, premiered on February 26, 2010 by Opera Boston at the Cutler Majestic Theatre.