2014 Finalists

Letters, Drama, and Music

The Son by Philipp Meyer (Ecco)
A sweeping multi-generational novel that illuminates the violence and enterprise of the American West by tracing a Texas family’s passage from lethal frontier perils to immense oil-boom wealth.

The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Bob Shacochis (Atlantic Monthly Press)
A novel spanning 50 years and three continents that explores the murky world of American foreign policy before 9/11, using provocative themes to raise difficult moral questions.
The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence by Madeleine George
A cleverly constructed play that uses several historical moments – from the 1800s to the 2010s – to meditate on the technological advancements that bring people together and tear them apart.

Fun Home by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori
A poignant musical adaptation of a graphic memoir by cartoonist Alison Bechdel, exploring sexual identity amid complicated family constraints and relationships.
A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama's America by Jacqueline Jones (Basic Books)
A deeply researched examination of how race as a social invention has retained its power to organize, mark and harm the lives of Americans.

Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser (The Penguin Press)
A chilling history of the management of America’s nuclear arsenal, exploring the fateful challenges and chronicling the "near misses" that could have triggered a cataclysm.
Biography or Autobiography
Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World by Leo Damrosch (Yale University Press)
A seminal work that illuminates the famous yet enigmatic satirist who was also a crucial figure in 18th century Anglo-Irish politics.

Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life by Jonathan Sperber (Liveright)
An impressively researched work that provides a fresh perspective on Marx and his ideas by placing him in the social and intellectual swirl of the 1800s.
The Sleep of Reason by Morri Creech (The Waywiser Press)
A book of masterly poems that capture the inner experience of a man in mid-life who is troubled by mortality and the passage of time, traditional themes that are made to feel new.

The Big Smoke by Adrian Matejka (Penguin)
An imaginative work by a commanding poet who engages the history and mythology of larger-than-life boxer Jack Johnson.
General Nonfiction
The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide by Gary J. Bass (Alfred A. Knopf)
A disquieting exploration of the role played by the American president and his national security advisor in the 1971 Pakistani civil war, a bloodbath that killed hundreds of thousands and created millions of refugees.

The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War by Fred Kaplan (Simon & Schuster)
An engrossing look at how a tenacious general became the ringleader of efforts to reshape America’s military strategy in the post-Cold War age.
The Gospel According to the Other Mary by John Adams (Boosey & Hawkes)
A monumental oratorio about the final period of Christ’s life that is marked by impassioned music – sometimes forceful, sometimes lyrical -- and an ingenious variety of evocative sounds.

Invisible Cities by Christopher Cerrone (Outburst-Inburst Musics)
A captivating opera based on a novel by Italo Calvino in which Marco Polo regales Kublai Khan with tales of fantastical cities, adapted into an imaginary sonic landscape.


Public Service
Newsday, Long Island, NY
For its use of in-depth reporting and digital tools to expose shootings, beatings and other concealed misconduct by some Long Island police officers, leading to the formation of a grand jury and an official review of police accountability.
Breaking News Reporting
The Arizona Republic Staff
For its compelling coverage of a fast-moving wildfire that claimed the lives of 19 firefighters and destroyed more than a hundred homes, using an array of journalistic tools to tell the story.

The Washington Post Staff
For its alert, in-depth coverage of the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, employing a mix of platforms to tell a developing story with accuracy and sensitivity.
Investigative Reporting
Megan Twohey of Reuters
For her exposure of an underground Internet marketplace where parents could bypass social welfare regulations and get rid of children they had adopted overseas but no longer wanted, the stories triggering governmental action to curb the practice.

Cynthia Hubert and Phillip Reese of The Sacramento Bee
For their probe of a Las Vegas mental hospital that used commercial buses to "dump" more than 1,500 psychiatric patients in 48 states over five years, reporting that brought an end to the practice and the firing of hospital employees.
Explanatory Reporting
Dennis Overbye of The New York Times
For his authoritative illumination of the race by two competing teams of 3,000 scientists and technicians over a seven-year period to discover what physicists call the "God particle."

Les Zaitz of The Oregonian, Portland
For chilling narratives that, at personal risk to him and his sources, revealed how lethal Mexican drug cartels infiltrated Oregon and other regions of the country.
Local Reporting
Joan Garrett McClane, Todd South, Doug Strickland and Mary Helen Miller of the Chattanooga Times Free Press
For using an array of journalistic tools to explore the "no-snitch" culture that helps perpetuate a cycle of violence in one of the most dangerous cities in the South.

Rebecca D. O'Brien and Thomas Mashberg of The Record, Woodland Park, N.J.
For their jarring exposure of how heroin has permeated the suburbs of northern New Jersey, profiling addicts and anguished families and mapping the drug pipeline from South America to their community.
National Reporting
John Emshwiller and Jeremy Singer-Vine of The Wall Street Journal
For their reports and searchable database on the nation’s often overlooked factories and research centers that once produced nuclear weapons and now pose contamination risks.

Jon Hilsenrath of The Wall Street Journal
For his exploration of the Federal Reserve, a powerful but little understood national institution.
International Reporting
Rukmini Callimachi of the Associated Press
For her discovery and fearless exploration of internal documents that shattered myths and deepened understanding of the global terrorist network of al-Qaida.

Raja Abdulrahim and Patrick McDonnell of the Los Angeles Times
For their vivid coverage of the Syrian civil war, showing at grave personal risk how both sides of the conflict contribute to the bloodshed, fear and corruption that define daily life.
Feature Writing
Scott Farwell of The Dallas Morning News
For his story about a young woman's struggle to live a normal life after years of ghastly child abuse, an examination of human resilience in the face of depravity.

Christopher Goffard of the Los Angeles Times
For his account of an ex-police officer’s nine-day killing spree in Southern California, notable for its pacing, character development and rich detail.

Mark Johnson of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
For his meticulously told tale about a group of first-year medical students in their gross anatomy class and the relationships they develop with one another and the nameless corpse on the table, an account enhanced by multimedia elements.
Kevin Cullen of The Boston Globe
For his street-wise local columns that capture the spirit of a city, especially after its famed Marathon was devastated by terrorist bombings.

Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle
For her provocative metro columns written from the perspective of a sixth-generation Texan, often challenging the powerful and giving voice to the voiceless.
Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times
For her trenchant and witty television criticism, engaging readers through essays and reviews that feature a conversational style and the force of fresh ideas.

Jen Graves of The Stranger, a Seattle weekly
For her visual arts criticism that, with elegant and vivid description, informs readers about how to look at the complexities of contemporary art and the world in which it’s made.
Editorial Writing
Dante Ramos of The Boston Globe
For his evocative editorials urging Boston to become a more modern, around-the-clock city by shedding longtime restrictions and removing bureaucratic obstacles that can sap its vitality.

Andie Dominick of The Des Moines Register
For her diligent editorials challenging Iowa’s arcane licensing laws that regulate occupations ranging from cosmetologists to dentists and often protect practitioners more than the public.
Editorial Cartooning
David Horsey of the Los Angeles Times
For his wide ranging cartoons that blend skillful caricature with irreverence, causing readers both to laugh and think.

Pat Bagley of The Salt Lake Tribune
For his adroit use of images and words that cut to the core of often emotional issues for his readership.
Breaking News Photography
John Tlumacki and David L. Ryan of The Boston Globe
For their searing photographs that captured the shock, chaos and heroism after the bloody Boston Marathon bombings.

Goran Tomasevic of Reuters
For his sequence of photographs that chronicle two hours of fierce combat on the rebel frontline in Syria’s civil war.
Feature Photography
Lacy Atkins of the San Francisco Chronicle
For her revealing portrait of an Oakland school’s efforts to help African-American boys avoid neighborhood risks and profit from education.

Michael Williamson of The Washington Post
For his portfolio of pictures exploring the multi-faceted impact of the nation’s food stamp program on 47 million recipients.