2011 MOLLY Prize Winners

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THE 2011 MOLLY PRIZE WINNERS

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WINNER

Jeff Sharlet

Jeff Sharlet is the national bestselling author of The Family  (HarperCollins, 2008), which spent 26 weeks on the New York Times nonfiction lists. Barbara Ehrenreich described The Family as “one of the most compelling and brilliantly researched exposes you’ll ever read,” and Bookforum declared it “principled, passionate, and powerful.” Sharlet’s reporting for The Family has also been honored by some of conservatism’s great minds. In Godless: The Church of Liberalism, Ann Coulter calls Sharlet one of the stupidest journalists in America, and Dan Quayle protege, Senator Dan Coats, declares Sharlet “an enemy of Jesus.” “Just sad,” says Pastor Ted Haggard, who knows something about that.

Sharlet is a contributing editor for Harper’s magazine and Rolling Stone, and the Mellon Assistant Professor of English at Dartmouth, the college’s first professor of creative nonfiction. His most recent book, C Street (Little, Brown, 2010), was called “brilliant, even courageous” by the Washington Post. Excerpts from C Street in Harper’s and The Advocate, combined with Sharlet’s reporting for MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show have been honored with the MOLLY National Journalism Award, the Thomas Jefferson Award from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and the Outspoken Award from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. In August 2011, W.W. Norton will publish his next book, Sweet Heaven When I Die, a gallery of American outlaws, anarchists, fanatics, and saints. His first book, Killing the Buddha (Free Press, 2004), coauthored with Peter Manseau, was described by Publishers Weekly as “perhaps the most original and insightful spiritual writing to come out of America since Jack Kerouac first hit the road,” and named one of the best religion titles of the year.

From 2003 to 2008, Sharlet was an associate research scholar at New York University’s Center for Religion and Media. He has spoken at Yale, Princeton, Columbia, the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt, the Naval War College, Seminary of the Southwest, and other colleges and universities across the country. Sharlet has received grants, support and fellowships from the Pew Charitable Trust, The MacDowell Colony, the Blue Mountain Center, The Nation Institute, and the Kopkind Foundation.  His writing on music was selected for the Da Capo’s annual Best Music Writing volumes in 2004 and 2008. Sharlet is a three-times finalist for the Livingston Award for National Reporting, co-recipient of the Utne/Independent Press Award for Cultural Commentary, and recipient of the MacDowell Colony Stanley Calderwood Fellowship. Pakn Treger, a magazine he created for the National Yiddish Book Center, received two Jewish Press Awards. He has also written for Mother JonesNew YorkThe NationThe New Republic, New Statesman, The Washington PostThe Dallas Morning NewsNerveSalonThe Chronicle of Higher Education, Columbia Journalism Review, Oxford American, Lapham’s Quarterly, In These Times, The Baffler, and The Forward. He has been a frequent guest on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show and NPR’s “Fresh Air,” and has commented on politics and culture for NBC Nightly News, CNN, HBO’s Bill Maher Show, Comedy Central’s Daily Show, NPR, BBC, Air America, Al Jazeera, The New York TimesNewsweek, Radio France, ABC (Australia), CBC (Canada), RAI (Italy), Arte (Germany) and other media venues.

He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and daughter.

Jeff Sharlet received the MOLLY Prize for his article “Straight Man’s Burden,” published in Harper’s Magazine. See Sharlet’s related article “Dangerous Liaisons,” published in Advocate, and his interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air. Research for Sharlet’s work is supported by The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute.

HONORABLE MENTION

Maureen DowdMaureen Dowd, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary, became a columnist on The New York Times Op-Ed page in 1995 after having served as a correspondent in the paper’s Washington bureau since 1986. She has covered four presidential campaigns and served as White House correspondent. She also wrote a column, “On Washington,” for The New York Times Magazine.

Ms. Dowd joined The New York Times as a metropolitan reporter in 1983. She began her career in 1974 as an editorial assistant for The Washington Star, where she later became a sports columnist, metropolitan reporter and feature writer. When the Star closed in 1981, she went to Time magazine.

Born in Washington D.C., Ms. Dowd received a B.A. degree in English literature from Catholic University (Washington, D.C.) in 1973.

Maureen Dowd received an honorable mention for her series of articles “Eraser Duty for Bart?,” “Devil of a Scandal,” “The Church’s Judas Moment,” and “Worlds Without Women,” published in The New York Times.

Joshua KorsJoshua Kors is an investigative reporter for The Nation, where he covers military and veterans’ issues. He is the winner of the National Magazine Award, George Polk Award, IRE Award, National Headliner Award, Casey Medal, Deadline Club Award, Mental Health Media Award and the Military Reporters and Editors Award.

Kors earned national attention this year for his work uncovering the veterans’ benefits scandal. His three-part series showed how military doctors are purposely misdiagnosing soldiers wounded in Iraq in order to deny them medical care and disability pay. He continued his reporting with ABC News, collaborating with Bob Woodruff on “World News Tonight” and “Nightline” pieces covering the scandal. The “Nightline” report won the Peabody Award. In July 2007 Kors testified before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, which convened to investigate his reporting. His testimony led to the creation of two new laws governing military discharges signed by President Bush in January and October 2008.

In September 2010 the House VA Committee convened again to examine Kors’ reporting.  His testimony sparked a Pentagon investigation into the U.S. Army’s torture of an American soldier. Complete bio.

Joshua Kors received an honorable mention for his article “Disposable Soldiers,” published in The Nation.
Also see his accompanying articles, “How the VA Abandons Our Vets,” “Thanks for Nothing,” and “Specialist Town Takes His Case to Washington,” all published in The Nation. And see his accompanying video: The Torture Hearings.

Previous winners: 201020092008

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Mary Margaret Farabee, Co-Chair • Susan Longley, Co-Chair • Jayne Barrett  Frances Barton • Becky Beaver Carlton Carl • Jan Demetri • Karen Farabee • Carol Flake • Clare Hudspeth • Mary Barminski Johnson
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