2015 Nominees: nonfiction

HISTORY
Released: July 7, 2015

"A fascinating biography of a physicist who transformed how science is done."
Europe's Large Hadron Collider cost more than $10 billion, paid for by a consortium of nations. Its success owes much to charismatic physicist Ernest Lawrence (1901-1958), who invented the cyclotron, the Collider's ancestor. Read full book review >
THE HILLARY DOCTRINE by Valerie M. Hudson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 30, 2015

"A sound study that carries an urgent message."
A compelling argument for women's rights. Read full book review >
TERRORISTS AT THE TABLE by Jonathan Powell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 30, 2015

"Powell's urgent, reasoned, and impassioned argument for negotiation has the potential to contribute significantly to public debate."
A road map for the fraught, fragile road to possible peace with terrorist organizations. Read full book review >
BLACKOUT by Sarah Hepola
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 23, 2015

"A treasure trove of hard truths mined from a life soaked in booze."
A razor-sharp memoir that reveals the woman behind the wine glass. Read full book review >
UNFAIR by Adam Benforado
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 16, 2015

"An original and provocative argument that upends our most cherished beliefs about providing equal justice under the law."
A law professor sounds an explosive alarm on the hidden unfairness of our legal system. Read full book review >
IRREPRESSIBLE by Emily Bingham
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 16, 2015

"Deeply researched, Bingham's engrossing biography brings her glamorous, tormented ancestor vividly to life."
A colorful portrait of a daring woman. Read full book review >
THE END OF PLENTY by Joel K. Bourne Jr.
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: June 15, 2015

"The insertion of notes at the end of each chapter rather than at the back of the book gives it a textbook feel, which may put off some readers. It should not: this call to arms is lucid, informative, and even entertaining, fully deserving a wide readership."
Hard facts, solid research, multiple viewpoints, and well-told stories combine to give high impact to this compelling look at the challenge of feeding the world's burgeoning population without destroying the planet. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 9, 2015

"A potent introduction to a nearly forgotten part of the civil rights movement and a personalized reminder of what it was truly about."
A powerful memoir of the civil rights movement, specifically the dramatic struggle to integrate the schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: June 9, 2015

"An opinionated, authoritative, and delightfully provocative account of efforts to make sense of human fossil discoveries."
Despite his 2012 history of Homo sapiens, Masters of the Planet, Tattersall, curator emeritus in the anthropology division of the American Museum of Natural History, revisits the subject from another angle, with equally superb results.Read full book review >
BEHIND THE MASK by Matthew Dennison
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 9, 2015

"A lively, vigorously written biography of a singular character that beckons readers urgently back to Sackville-West's writing."
A passionately delineated portrait of the savage writer, fiercely private lover of women, and eccentric denizen of Sissinghurst. Read full book review >
PIG TALES by Barry Estabrook
FOOD & COOKING
Released: June 8, 2015

"A thoroughly researched, deftly written piece of investigative journalism. Estabrook and his partner still eat bacon, but they are careful about the source of the pork."
Former Gourmet contributing editor Estabrook (Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit, 2011) presents a journalistic exposé of the pork industry with the same skill demonstrated in his exploration of the tomato industry.Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: June 2, 2015

"Top-notch military history."
The word "legendary" is overused in military history, but it is almost an understatement for the Lafayette Escadrille. Read full book review >

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ABOUT THE KIRKUS PRIZE

The Kirkus Prize is one of the richest literary awards in the world, with a prize of $50,000 bestowed annually to authors of fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature. It was created to celebrate the 81 years of discerning, thoughtful criticism Kirkus Reviews has contributed to both the publishing industry and readers at large. Books that earned the Kirkus Star with publication dates between November 1, 2014, and October 31, 2015, are automatically nominated for the 2015 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on October 23, 2015, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.