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Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism 2014


2014 Finalists:

Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation  by Dan Fagin  (Bantam Books)  - An astounding piece of investigative journalism by science and environmental reporter Dan Fagin, recounting the 60 year history of industrial pollution and it’s devastating impact on one New Jersey town.

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital  by Sheri Fink (Crown Publishers) -  Reporter and physician Sheri Fink's detailed account of the five days immediately after Hurricane Katrina and her investigation of patients death at a New Orleans hospital - engrossing from start to finish.
Thank you for your Service by David Finkel (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux) - David Finkel follows up his award winning book The Good Soldiers, with the stories of many of the same men, once they return to the US after their deployments. In this mesmerizing book, FInkel gives us a powerful and unforgettable glimpse into the hearts and minds of the soldiers and their families, as they struggle to recover from the wounds of war.  

The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War  by Fred Kaplan (Simon and Schuster) - Military journalist Fred Kaplan's deeply researched, intellectual thriller chronicling the story of a small group of soldier-scholars led by David Petraeus, who attempt to revolutionize the US military.

The Big Truck that Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster  by Jonathan Katz (Palgrave Macmillan) -Jonathan Katz blends Haiti's history, people and politics, with deep reporting, in this riveting and moving, first hand account of the 2010 earthquake and its aftermath - considered the definitive account.     

About the Award

Since 1988 the annual award, which includes a $15,000 cash prize, has been given to journalists whose books have brought clarity and public attention to important issues, events, or policies.  Previous winners of the award include Ellen E. Schultz, Shane Harris, David Finkel, Jane Mayer, Lawrence Wright.  Katherine Boo won last year for her book Behind the Beautiful Forevers. You can watch the award event on BOOK TV. The winner will be announced at a reception at the New York Public Library on May 28, 2014.

The Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism was established through a gift from Joseph Frank Bernstein, in honor of journalist Helen Bernstein (now Helen Bernstein Fealy).