2015 Nominees: nonfiction (page 2)

Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Washington, D.C., regulars may know some of this information, and foreign nations certainly do, but all engaged American citizens should read this book and have their eyes opened."
Former Salon founding editor-in-chief Talbot (Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love, 2012, etc.) shares his extensive knowledge and intense investigations of American politics with a frightening biography of power, manipulation, and outright treason.Read full book review >
HUMANS OF NEW YORK by Brandon Stanton
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise."
Photographer and author Stanton returns with a companion volume to Humans of New York (2013), this one with similarly affecting photographs of New Yorkers but also with some tales from his subjects' mouths.Read full book review >
EMPIRE OF SELF by Jay Parini
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A superbly personal biography that pulsates with intelligence, scholarship, and heart."
An intimate but unblinking look at Gore Vidal (1925-2012), the gifted essayist, playwright, novelist, and public personality, who, for a time, seemed ubiquitous in the popular culture. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A lifetime of scholarship and an elegant pen combine for an outstanding read."
A distinguished legal historian looks at how dissents have influenced our understanding of the Constitution. Read full book review >
BOUNDLESS by Kathleen Winter
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"With the eye of a poet and the stamina of an Amundsen, Winter proves a delightful guide into unexplored realms. Worthy of shelving alongside Barry Lopez's Arctic Dreams (1986)."
Literate, luminous travels in the far north. Read full book review >
THE END OF THE COLD WAR by Robert Service
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A wholly satisfying, likely definitive, but not triumphalist account of the end of an era."
In this thoughtful re-evaluation of a stunning historical watershed, British Soviet specialist Service (Emeritus, Russian History/Univ. of Oxford; Trotsky, 2009, etc.) concentrates on the political maneuvering that was Byzantine and often wrongheaded but rarely dull.Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Sattouf has also worked as a columnist for the satirical Charlie Hebdo, but the social commentary here is more wistful and melancholy than sharp-edged. This first volume of a memoir 'to be continued' is subtly written and deftly illustrated, with psychological incisiveness and humor."
A child's-eye view of upheaval in the Arab world and its relations with the West. Read full book review >
KEEPING AN EYE OPEN by Julian Barnes
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"Barnes knows that one of the immeasurable pleasures of art is its capacity to approach us from unexpected angles and excite our senses of wonder. The same may be said of his scholarly and astute yet accessible and exciting essays."
English novelist Barnes (Levels of Life, 2013, etc.) focuses his analytical prowess on significant artists and their oeuvres, opening fresh vistas to readers—and viewers. Read full book review >
THE YEAR OF LEAR by James Shapiro
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"Shapiro's discoveries of long-lost sources and missed connections make this a fascinating tale. His well-written, scholarly exploration will stand as an influential work that is a joy to read."
Shakespearean scholar Shapiro (English/Columbia Univ.; Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?, 2010, etc.) links the tumultuous events of 1605 and 1606 to three of the Bard's greatest works.Read full book review >
RAZZLE DAZZLE by Michael Riedel
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"A captivating gift to theater lovers."
The riotous revival of Broadway. Read full book review >
THE SONG MACHINE by John Seabrook
Released: Oct. 5, 2015

"A revelatory ear-opener, as the music business remains in a state of significant flux."
New Yorker staff writer Seabrook (Flash of Genius: And Other True Stories of Invention, 2008, etc.) examines the seismic shifts in the music industry. Read full book review >
HENRY CLAY by Harlow Giles Unger
Released: Oct. 1, 2015

"In this lucid, exemplary biography, Unger focuses on not just Clay, but also on the formation of the early republic, a time too little studied today. An excellent introduction to a turbulent era."
A comprehensive biography of the statesman whom Abraham Lincoln called "the ideal politician." Read full book review >



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 (see FAQ for exceptions), are automatically nominated for the 2015 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on October 15, 2015, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.