2011: “The Big Short,” Michael Lewis
31st Annual RFK Book Award
Judges: John Seigenthaler, Douglas Brinkley, Nikki Giovanni, Frank Mankiewicz, and Jim Wooten
Grand Prize Winner: The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, Michael Lewis
The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights is pleased to announce the selection of The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis as the Winner of the 2011 RFK Book Award.
In The Big Short (W. W. Norton & Company), Michael Lewis profiles a number of contrarian investors who bet against the booming subprime bond market, presenting a multi-faceted and illuminating tale of how widespread greed and deception, lack of adequate risk assessment, and systemic failures of the regulatory system combined to cause an implosion of financial markets. Published in March 2010, the book became a bestseller and received wide critical praise, including from The New York Times, which described the work as a “strikingly original take that offers an enhanced understanding of the debacle.”
"Michael Lewis has given us a stunning account of how greed among money managers, fed by blatant arrogance and blind ignorance, ruptured the blood stream of the free enterprise system and undermined the economic health of the nation," said John Seigenthaler, chair of the award’s panel of judges. "The judges, after carefully evaluating this year’s Robert F. Kennedy Book Award finalists, concluded that Lewis' The Big Short was immensely deserving of this year’s honor."
Lewis, a contributing author for Vanity Fair magazine, is the author of the bestselling books Liar’s Poker, The New New Thing, and Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, among others. His 2006 book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, was made into a film that won many accolades and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.
The distinguished panel of judges for the Book Award included
The Robert F. Kennedy Book Award was founded in 1980 with the proceeds from Arthur Schlesinger, Jr’s best-selling biography, Robert F. Kennedy and His Times. Each year the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights presents an award to the book, which in Schlesinger’s words, “most faithfully and forcefully reflects Robert Kennedy’s purposes-his concern for the poor and powerless, his struggle for honest and even-handed justice, his conviction that a decent society must assure all young people a fair chance, and his faith that a free democracy can act to remedy disparities of power and opportunity.” The RFK Book Award has been acknowledged as one of the most prestigious honors an author can receive.
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