Book Prize Recipient, 2006

The Ridenhour Book Prize honors an outstanding work of social significance from the prior publishing year and recognizes investigative and reportorial distinction.

Anthony Shadid is the author of Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War (Henry Holt, 2005), a moving account of everyday Iraqis caught in the crossfire of international conflict.

Fluent in Arabic, Shadid traveled to Baghdad in 2003 to report on the war for the Washington Post. His work was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 2004.

Shadid set out to explain the complexities of Iraqi identity – Sunni, Shiite, Kurd and Christian – to an American audience. In Night Draws Near, he skillfully weaves these dispatches together in an epic work of reporting. “In a powerful yet intimate narrative, he manages to make the Iraqis breathe,” writes Mark Danner, longtime staff writer at The New Yorker and author of Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib and the War on Terror. “In so doing, he introduces us to a people who have been forced to know much more about Americans than we know about them. This is an essential book.”

Shadid has reported from most countries in the Middle East, from Egypt to Syria to Israel and Palestine, where he was wounded while covering fighting in the West Bank. In March 2003, weeks before the U.S. invasion, he went to Iraq where he subsequently witnessed the fall of Saddam Hussein and the war’s toll on daily Iraqi life.

In addition to being the only Pulitzer winner for reporting from Iraq, Shadid also received the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ 2004 award for deadline writing and the Overseas Press Club’s 2004 Hal Boyle Award for best newspaper or wire service reporting from abroad. In 2003, he received the George Polk Award for foreign reporting for a series of dispatches from the Middle East he wrote while covering diplomacy and the State Department for the Boston Globe. He is a native of Oklahoma City, where his grandparents emigrated from Lebanon, and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This is his second book.

It was with great sadness that the Ridenhour family learned of the death of New York Times reporter Anthony Shadid on February 16, 2012.

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