Finalists for the Washington Monthly’s Kukula Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Book Reviewing

The Washington Monthly announces the finalists for its 2021 Kukula Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Book Reviewing—the only journalism prize dedicated to highlighting and encouraging high-quality reviews of serious, public affairs–focused books. The award honors the memory of Kukula Kapoor Glastris, the magazine’s longtime and beloved books editor. Two top prize winners will be announced on June 7.

“Nonfiction book reviewing plays a key role in transmitting hard-won reporting, research, and ideas on major issues of the day to policymakers and citizens who can’t possibly read more than a fraction of the important books being published each year,” said Washington Monthly editor in chief Paul Glastris, Kukula’s husband of 31 years….

Selected from more than 125 outstanding submissions published across a range of print and online media outlets in 2020, the finalists were honored for their clear and artful exposition; original and persuasive thesis; and ability to enlighten readers with new and valuable information. Judges gave priority to works of politics, public affairs, history, and biography.

Finalists were chosen in two categories based on size of the publication. In the larger category, finalists are:

Maggie Doherty in The New Yorker, for her review of “The Power of Adrienne Rich” by Hilary Holladay

Patrick Iber in The New Republic, for his review of “Reaganland” by Rick Perlstein

Daniel Immerwahr in The Nation, for his review of “The United States of War” by David Vine

Carlos Lozada in The Washington Post, for his review of “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo

Nick Romeo in The Washington Post, for his review of “Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory” by Claudio Saunt

Among smaller publications, finalists are:

Morten Høi Jensen in Commonweal, for his review of “On Not Being Someone Else: Tales of Our Unled Lives” by Andrew H. Miller

Sophie Haigney in High Country News, for her review of “Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman’s Search for Justice in Indian Country” by Sierra Crane Murdoch

Robin Kaiser-Schatzlein in The Baffler, for his review of “No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention” by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer

Emma Larkin in Mekong Review, for her review of “Moments of Silence: The Unforgetting of the October 6, 1976, Massacre in Bangkok” by Thongchai Winichakul

Melvyn Leffler in Foreign Affairs, for his review of “To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America Into Iraq” by Robert Draper

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