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What Pulitzer Prize-Nominated Books Should You Read First?

This “majestic biography” is “more than a catalog of this now largely overlooked philosopher and critic’s achievements,” our reviewer wrote. Stewart, a historian and professor of black studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, “also renders the tangled knot of art, sexuality and yearning for liberation that propelled Locke’s work.”

PROUST’S DUCHESS: How Three Celebrated Women Captured the Imagination of Fin-de-Siècle Paris, by Caroline Weber (Alfred A. Knopf)


Weber “describes not only the three women, but an enormous cast of the dandies, decadents, artists, writers, musicians and financiers of the fin de siècle,” our reviewer wrote, adding that “while the book is long and weighty, it is never dull.”

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam, by Max Boot (Liveright/W.W. Norton)


In this “judicious and absorbing” biography of Edward Lansdale, an intelligence officer who held a different, arguably more humane view of how the Vietnam War could have been approached, “what emerges is a picture of a man who from an early point possessed an unusual ability to relate to other people, a stereotypically American can-do optimism, an impatience with bureaucracy and a fascination with psychological warfare,” our reviewer wrote.

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