Conservative Book of the Year Award

ISI’s Conservative Book of the Year award recognizes thoughtful books that contribute to the rich debate about important conservative ideas. The winner receives a $10,000 cash prize along with ISI’s Paolucci Book Award.

And the finalists for this year’s award are . . .

6 Finalists Announced

ISI has announced six finalists for the prestigious Conservative Book of the Year award. This annual award recognizes a thoughtful book that contributes to the ongoing debate of conservative ideas.

The finalists for this year’s award are:

  • Timothy P. Carney, Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse
  • Samuel Gregg, Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization
  • Ted V. McAllister and Bruce Frohnen, Coming Home: Reclaiming America’s Conservative Soul
  • Wilfred M. McClay, Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story
  • Douglas Murray, The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race, and Identity
  • George F. Will, The Conservative Sensibility

This year, ISI received more than 130 nominations for the award. A distinguished panel of third-party judges will select the winner from among the six finalists.

“The Conservative Book of the Year award is more important today than ever before,” said Charlie Copeland, president of ISI. “With mainstream book awards like the Pulitzer and National Book Award shutting out conservative authors, our goal at ISI is to celebrate them, their voices, and their ideas. I’d like to congratulate the six finalists for their exceptional work and applaud them for their commitment to exploring conservative principles in today’s heated political and social climate.”

The winner will be announced in January 2020 and will be honored at ISI’s annual Conservative Book of the Year award dinner on March 28 in St. Louis. The winning author will receive ISI’s Paolucci Book Award, in addition to a $10,000 cash prize.

For more about the Conservative Book of the Year finalists, see the press release

The Award

ISI honors the Conservative Book of the Year with the Paolucci Book Award. The award is named in memory of Henry and Anne Paolucci, distinguished scholars, teachers, and writers who exemplified the ideal of the public intellectual.

Award Requirements

To be considered for the Conservative Book of the Year award, a book must:

  • Be a work of nonfiction that was first published in, and carries a copyright date of, 2019
  • Advance our understanding of conservative principles
  • Make an outstanding contribution to the literature of the subject
  • Avoid factional or partisan argumentation

About Henry and Anne Paolucci

Henry Paolucci
Henry Paolucci, PhD (1922–1999)

Henry Paolucci was a prolific scholar of classical politics and literature. He was a professor of government and politics at St. John’s University and also taught ancient Greek and Roman history at Iona College, Brooklyn College, and the City College of New York, as well as a graduate course on Dante and medieval culture at Columbia University. Dr. Paolucci wrote or edited more than 30 books and was a frequent contributor to national magazines and newspapers. He is well known for his studies of the political thought of Aristotle, Saint Augustine, Machiavelli, and Hegel.

The founding president of the Walter Bagehot Council on National Sovereignty, Dr. Paolucci served for many years as vice chairman of the Conservative Party of New York State. In 1964 he ran as the Conservative candidate for the U.S. Senate against Democrat Robert F. Kennedy and the Republican incumbent, Kenneth Keating.

Anne Paolucci
Anne Paolucci, PhD (1926–2012)

Anne Paolucci displayed a wide range of intellectual interests in her long and distinguished scholarly career. Born in Rome, she settled with her family in New York at the age of eight and went on to earn a PhD from Columbia University. Dr. Paolucci taught English at the City College of New York before joining the faculty of St. John’s University as its first University Research Professor. A prolific writer on Renaissance drama, dramatic theory, Hegelian aesthetics, Spenser, Dante, Machiavelli, and classical and Shakespearean tragedy, she was perhaps best known for her work on the plays of Pirandello and of Edward Albee.

Dr. Paolucci was the founding president of the Council on National Literatures. For nearly a decade she served on the National Council on the Humanities, and she became the first woman to chair the Board of ­Trustees of the City University of New York (CUNY).