The Ridenhour Book Prize


Eliza Griswold

Griswold is the author of Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America. Read more



Lauren Markham

Markham is the author of The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life. Read more



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. Read more



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. Read more


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. Read more



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. Read more



Seth Rosenfeld

Seth Rosenfeld has been awarded the 2013 Ridenhour Book Prize for Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power. Rosenfeld has won the Ridenhour Book Prize for his masterful and seamless braiding of investigative research and storytelling dexterity to depict an American government that used its vast resources for partisan political gain under the cloak of protecting the nation from a nebulous external threat. Read more



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. Read more


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. Read more



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. Read more


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. Read more



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. Read more