The Ridenhour Book Prize

2020 / Know My Name by Chanel Miller

2020 / Know My Name by Chanel Miller

Chanel Miller is a writer and artist who received her BA in Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her critically acclaimed memoir, “Know My Name”, was a New York Times bestseller, a New York Times Book Review Notable Book, and a National Book Critics Circle Award winner, as well as a best book of 2019 in Time, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, NPR, and People, among others.

2017 / Blood in the Water by Heather Ann Thompson

2017 / Blood in the Water by Heather Ann Thompson

In Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, Thompson shed new light on every aspect of the uprising and its legacy, giving voice to all those who took part in this forty-five-year fight for justice: prisoners, former hostages, families of the victims, lawyers and judges, and state officials and members of law enforcement.

2016 / A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy

2016 / A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy

Jill Leovy, author of Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America, is the 2016 recipient of The Ridenhour Book Prize. Reporting on the details of a single homicide case in South Los Angeles, Leovy offers an intimate portrait of detectives and a community bonded in tragedy, examining why murder happens in our cities — and how the epidemic of killings might yet be stopped.

2015 / No Good Men Among the Living by Anand Gopal

2015 / No Good Men Among the Living by Anand Gopal

Anand Gopal, author of No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes, is the winner of the 2015 Ridenhour Book Prize. Challenging predominant narratives, Gopal writes about America’s longest war with intimate accounts of life in war-torn Afghanistan.

2014 / Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink

2014 / Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink

Sheri Fink, author of Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, is the recipient of the 2014 Ridenhour Book Prize. In this book, reconstructing the events at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005, Fink draws upon more than five hundred interviews to bring the reader into the lives of the doctors and nurses who struggled to preserve life amidst chaos.

2013 / Subversives by Seth Rosenfeld

2013 / Subversives by Seth Rosenfeld

Ali H. Soufan has been awarded the 2012 Ridenhour Book Prize for The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda. Soufan is one of America’s leading counterterrorism investigators; with The Black Banners, he has written the definitive history of al-Qaeda, and provides irrefutable evidence that torture is not only antithetical to American values, but produces false and dangerous information.

2012 / The Black Banners by Ali H. Soufan

2012 / The Black Banners by Ali H. Soufan

Ali H. Soufan has been awarded the 2012 Ridenhour Book Prize for The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda. Soufan is one of America’s leading counterterrorism investigators; with The Black Banners, he has written the definitive history of al-Qaeda, and provides irrefutable evidence that torture is not only antithetical to American values, but produces false and dangerous information.

2011 / Deadly Spin by Wendell Potter

2011 / Deadly Spin by Wendell Potter

Wendell Potter, the 2011 recipient of The Ridenhour Book Prize, won for Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Healthcare and Deceiving Americans, his damning account of how America’s health insurance industry manufactures distortion and fear. Potter, who walked away from his lucrative job as head of communications for healthcare giant CIGNA in May 2008, found he could no longer participate in a system that placed profits ahead of patient care, and courageously spoke out against what he had seen and participated in during his thirty-year career.

2010 / Palestine by Joe Sacco

2010 / Palestine by Joe Sacco

Joe Sacco, 2010 recipient of The Ridenhour Book Prize, won for Footnotes in Gaza, a work of profound social significance, and one that explores the complex continuum of history. At a time when peace in the Middle East has never seemed more elusive, Sacco’s illustrations bear witness to the lives of those who are trapped by the conflict. This marks the first time that the Ridenhour judges have awarded the prize to an illustrated book.

2009 / The Dark Side by Jane Mayer

2009 / The Dark Side by Jane Mayer

Jane Mayer, 2009 recipient of the 2009 Ridenhour Book Prize, won for The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into A War on American Ideals, a damning indictment of how the United States made self-destructive decisions in the wake of 9/11 that not only violated the Constitution and American values, but actually hindered the pursuit of Al Qaeda.

2008 / Maxed Out by James D. Scurlock

2008 / Maxed Out by James D. Scurlock

James D. Scurlock, 2008 recipient of the Ridenhour Book Prize, is the author of Maxed Out: Hard Times in the Age of Easy Credit, his disturbing account of America’s unsustainable relationship with debt, revealing the vulnerability of the average person to the predatory and unethical lending methods of banks and credit card companies.

2006 / Night Draws Near by Anthony Shadid

2006 / Night Draws Near by Anthony Shadid

Anthony Shadid, 2006 recipient of the Ridenhour Book Prize, is the author of Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War, a moving account of everyday Iraqis caught in the crossfire of international conflict.

2005 / Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

2005 / Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, 2005 recipient of the Ridenhour Book Prize, chronicles a decade in the life of one family in her novel Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx, a haunting account of the day-to-day realities of urban poverty.

2004 / Emma’s War by Deborah Scroggins

2004 / Emma’s War by Deborah Scroggins

Deborah Scroggins, recipient of the inaugural Ridenhour Book Prize, is the author of Emma’s War: An Aid Worker, Radical Islam, and the Politics of Oil – A True Story of Love and Death in the Sudan. It is both the riveting story of a British aid worker and the local warlord she marries, and a revealing look at Sudan: a world where international aid fuels armies instead of the starving, and where the government is locked in battle with other groups over oil.