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 >
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 >
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 >
MY GENERATION by William Styron
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: June 2, 2015

"Wide-ranging, lucid, and incisive."
A rich collection by an estimable writer. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: June 2, 2015

"A highly recommended addition to the literature of military history."
A close look at three of the iconic battles in American history, as experienced by the men on the front lines. Read full book review >
STALIN'S DAUGHTER by Rosemary Sullivan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 2, 2015

"The author manages suspense and intrigue at every turn."
A biography of haunting fascination portrays its subject as a pawn of historical circumstance who tried valiantly to create her own life. Read full book review >
BUCKLEY AND MAILER by Kevin M. Schultz
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 2015

"In a book rich in anecdote and insight, Schultz assays their relationship splendidly."
A perceptive analysis of the evolution of political cultures that infuses a dissection of the contradictions within liberal and conservative thought with revealing character studies. Read full book review >
DO NO HARM by Henry Marsh
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: May 26, 2015

"Beautifully written and deeply moving—one of the best physician memoirs in recent memory."
A British neurosurgeon delivers fascinating, often harrowing stories of several dozen cases intermixed with compelling digressions into his travels, personal life, and philosophy. Read full book review >
SPLIT SEASON by Jeff Katz
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 19, 2015

"A superior addition to the venerable genre of baseball season accounts."
Most books on a baseball year concentrate on a single legendary team (1927 Yankees, 1954 Giants). Katz, mayor of Cooperstown, New York (The Kansas City A's and the Wrong Half of the Yankees: How the Yankees Controlled Two of the Eight American League Franchises During the 1950s, 2007), gives multiple teams equal time while devoting half of this delightful, opinionated history to the strike that upset everyone but enshrined the free agent system that has produced spectacular salaries for even mediocre players.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.