What are the best Pulitzer Prize-winning books for general nonfiction from 1962 to 2016?

asked by Anonymous
360 contributors
18 solutions
  1. 43

    #1Guns, Germs, and Steel

    Guns, Germs, and Steel

    Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Jared Diamond. It serves as a history of the world's societies, how they came to be the way they are, and how they were shaped by the environment.

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    Nicole Richards
    Written on March 21, 2018
    "Great read! Really very interesting, you can totally lose yourself in thought while reading this. The writing is superb, and it is so educational. Ad this to your summer reading list."
  2. 39

    #2Gulag: A History

    Gulag: A History
    Gulag: A History is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by acclaimed journalist, Anne Applebaum. It is an account and history of the Gulag labor camps in the Soviet Union, which held hundreds of millions of prisoners in the span of 60 years.
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    Rebecca Bennett
    Written on April 7, 2018
    "It is a suitable choice as it provides information about a topic that is very important but not often explored through mainstream media."
  3. 38

    #3The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

    The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

    The Emperor of All Maladies is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Siddharta Mukherjee. It chronicles the advent of the disease from its first appearance five thousand years ago, up to modern medicine's ongoing battle to cure it.

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    Albert Munoz
    Written on March 6, 2018
    "The best is sort of hard to determine. I must say that this is a good idea for a Pulitzer Prize-winning book . Needs some work on the modern medicine but I can see the potential in this one!"
  1. 35

    #4The Guns of August

    The Guns of August
    The Guns of August is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by renowned historian Barbara Tuchman. It recounts the first month of World War I: the thirty days of August 1914.
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    Kyle Shaw
    Written on March 18, 2018
    "History buffs will appreciate and marvel at this piece of historical writing. The writing is good and intriguing and will be enjoyed by many in my opinion. Though a hefty and lengthy piece, it is well worth your time."
  2. 33

    #5Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan

    Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan

    Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Herbert P. Bix. It is a biography of Hirohito, the Japanese emperor who reigned for 63 years and lead the nation through imperial expansion, war, and modernization.

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    Richard Cooper
    Written on March 19, 2018
    "As someone who likes history as well as Japanese culture, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan was an amazing book to read. Being a non fiction Pulitzer Prize-winning book from 2001, I learned things I never knew about Japan and the struggles the country went through to establish themselves."
  3. 30

    #6Annals of the Former World

    Annals of the Former World

    Annals of the Former World is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by John McPhee. It is a compilation of five books by the author, all chronicling the geological history of the North American continent along the 40th parallel.

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    Brian Lee
    Written on March 9, 2018
    "This seems like a simple cut and dry solution. I would have to agree that if you are looking for a Pulitzer Prize winning book then this would be the set to purchase. "
  4. 30

    #7The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

    The Swerve: How the World Became Modern
    The Swerve: How the World Became Modern is a multi-award-winning book by Stephen Greenblatt. It tells the story of the discovery of a manuscript by Lucretius, On the Nature of Things, and how it greatly affected Renaissance thinkers.
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    Howard Ortega
    Written on March 27, 2018
    "Very engaging book well worth the read"
  5. 28

    #8The Ants

    The Ants

    The Ants is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson. It is a comprehensive study of the largest animal group on Earth, which includes discussions on their anatomy, social system, and ecological contribution.

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    Lisa Peterson
    Written on March 14, 2018
    "The Ants is a great book for if you need to do research on their anatomy, social system, or contribution to the ecology. The ants won a Pulitzer Prize for general non fiction and is also great reading if you just have an interest in ants."
  6. 26

    #9Carry Me Home

    Carry Me Home

    Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution is a nonfiction book written by Diane McWhorter about American history and civil rights. This was originally published in 2001.

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    Henry Sandoval
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "Carry Me Home lives up to is billing. What a story and its like you were living in the time an you were witnessing the events in real time. A must read for people today. "
  7. 22

    #10Ghost Wars

    Ghost Wars

    Ghost Wars is Steve Coll's Pulitzer Prize-winning piece that contains accounts from key government personalities about the U.S.'s actions in the Middle East during the rise of Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban.

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    Teresa Reynolds
    Written on March 7, 2018
    "Ghost Wars was written with so much detail that it was easy for me to become absorbed by this book. There was so much information that I didn't know that I wanted to keep reading and learning more. It was extremely well written from front to back."
  8. 11

    #11The Prize

    The Prize
    The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, & Power by Daniel Yergin is a nonfiction book originally published in October 1990 by the Simon & Schuster. This book won the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.
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    Carolyn Estrada
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "Fascinating story to read. The oil business is a hot mess with those who are greedy and power hungry. If you want to know what a mess it is, give this book a try. I was disgusted and fascinated much of the time. "
  9. 4

    #12The Dragons of Eden

    The Dragons of Eden

    The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence is a non-fiction book written by Dr. Carl Sagan. Originally published in 1977, it won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1978.

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    Willie Barrett
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "This book is not for the light-hearted reader. It is a heavy read into the evolution of intelligence. The one thing that saved it for me, as I am not into heavy reads, is that Sagan is very conversational about it! I enjoyed reading it, and I found that even though the book is over 40 years old, it is still very relevant today."
  10. 2

    #13Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

    Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
    Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize. It's a metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll.
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    Gloria Keller
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "This is perhaps one of the most ingenius books ever written. Douglas Hofstadter has managed to tie together music, art, mathematics, biology and so much more to make this masterpiece. There has never been a book quite like this."
  11. 1

    #14Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is a collection of essays written by Annie Dillard which includes her observations and accurate descriptions of the natural world. This has won a Pulitzer Prize. 

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    Helen Wong
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "This is a collection of essays written by Annie Dillard that showcases all of her descriptions of the natural world. This is really an eye opening experience that really keeps you interested in what she is talking about. I really liked her attention to detail and her explanations of everything. If you are interested in a great read that won a Pulitzer Prize, then I think you should read this book because it is great."
  12. 0

    #15Shale Gas

    Shale Gas

    Shale Gas: The Promise and the Peril by Vikram Rao Ph.D. is a nonfiction novel originally published in July 2012 by the RTI Press. This book explores how Shale gas can upgrade the economy of U.S on energy sectors.

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    Randy Torres
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "I read Rao's Shale Gas, and I thought it was an incredible book. By far and away, it is the best book about the realities of energy production, the promise and danger of fracking, and a frank discussion about the pros and cons of using gas."
  13. 0

    #16Colonel Roosevelt

    Colonel Roosevelt

    Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris is the last installment on Morris' Theodore Roosevelt Trilogy that won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. With over 700 pages, this book is published in 2011 by Random House Trade.

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    Héctor Solano
    Written on March 27, 2018
    "I love reading books and the Colonel Roosevelt book is a very interesting and engaging book to read I would say that i highly recommend reads to read Colonel Roosevelt"
  14. 0

    #17Evicted

    Evicted
    Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond is a nonfiction book originally published in March 2016. This book won the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award and Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 2017.
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    Michael Patel
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "If you are looking for a good Pulitzer Prize-winning book for general nonfiction from 1962 to 2016 the one that stands out for me is Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond, as it really goes into award winning detail about how slumlords profit off the poor!"
  15. 0

    #18The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between

    The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between

    The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar is an autobiography novel originally published in June 2016. This book is a Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography and the Jean Stein Book Award winner.

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    Eduardo Espinoza
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE: from Man Booker Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Hisham Matar, a memoir of his journey home to his native Libya in search of answers to his father's disappearance. In 2012, after the overthrow of Qaddafi, the acclaimed novelist Hisham Matar journeys to his native Libya after an absence of thirty years. When he was twelve, Matar and his family went into political exile. Eight years later Matar's father, a former diplomat and military man turned brave political dissident, was kidnapped from the streets of Cairo by the Libyan government and is believed to have been held in the regime's most notorious prison. Now, the prisons are empty and little hope remains that Jaballa Matar will be found alive. Yet, as the author writes, hope is "persistent and cunning." Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for biography/autobiography, the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, France's Prix du livre étranger, and a finalist for the Orwell Book Prize and the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award, The Return is a brilliant and affecting portrait of a country and a people on the cusp of immense change, and a disturbing and timeless depiction of the monstrous nature of absolute power."

Summary

Best What are the best Pulitzer Prize-winning books for general nonfiction from 1962 to 2016
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1Guns, Germs, and SteelBooks 43 Paid
2Gulag: A HistoryBooks 39 Paid
3The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of CancerBooks 38 Paid
4The Guns of AugustBooks 35 Paid
5Hirohito and the Making of Modern JapanBooks 33 Paid
6Annals of the Former WorldBooks 30 Paid
7The Swerve: How the World Became ModernBooks 30 Paid
8The AntsBooks 28 Paid
9Carry Me HomeBooks 26 Paid
10Ghost WarsBooks 22 Paid
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