ISI's Paolucci Book Award

Each year, ISI's Henry & Anne Paolucci Book Award honors the best book of conservative scholarship.

The award is named in memory of Henry and Anne Paolucci–distinguished scholars, teachers, and writers who exemplified the ideal of the public intellectual.

The winning author receives a $5,000 award and delivers a public lecture that ISI hosts in Wilmington, Delaware.

Registration is closed.

2014 Winner: Daniel Hannan

ISI is thrilled to announce that the winner of this year's Henry and Anne Paolucci Book Award is British politician and journalist Daniel Hannan for his book Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World.

The Paolucci Book Award honors the best work of conservative scholarship published in the previous year. Hannan, a member of the European Parliament representing South East England for the Conservative Party, will receive the award and deliver a public lecture:

Date: Wednesday, October 8
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: The University and Whist Club, 805 North Broom Street, Wilmington, DE 19806

This event is sold out. Registration is closed.

A book signing and reception open to the public will immediately follow the lecture and Q&A.

Hannan's Inventing Freedom is an ambitious account of the historical origin and spread of the principles that have made America great. It recounts the role of these ideas in creating a sphere of economic and political liberty that is as crucial as it is imperiled. Taking readers from the Magna Carta, through the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution, to the U.S. Constitution and on up to the present, Inventing Freedom is a masterful examination of the freedoms too often taken for granted today.

The panel that selected this year's winner includes six distinguished judges: Amity Shlaes, author of Coolidge and The Forgotten Man; Angelo M. Codevilla, author of Advice to War Presidents (winner of the 2010 Paolucci Book Award); Serphin Maltese, former chairman of the Conservative Party of New York; Clara Sarrocco, executive director of the Council on National Literatures; Matthew A. Pauley, chair of political science and legal studies at Manhattanville College; and Ronald F. Docksai, president of the Walter Bagehot Council.

The Award

The Paolucci Book Award recognizes and advances the considerable scholarly achievements of Henry and Anne Paolucci, whose tireless pursuit of academic, literary, and journalist excellence exemplified ISI’s ideal of the public intellectual.

In the 1960s the Walter Bagehot Research Council, founded by Henry Paolucci, began presenting an annual book award named after Bagehot, the great British political economist and man of letters. The award was renamed the Henry Paolucci/Walter Bagehot Book Award after Dr. Paolucci passed away in 1999. ISI, which has presented the award for more than a decade, renamed the honor the Henry and Anne Paolucci Book Award in memory of Anne Paolucci, who passed away in 2012.

This annual award gives proper recognition to the best works of conservative scholarship. Past winners include Philip Hamburger for Law and Judicial Duty, Angelo M. Codevilla for Advice to War Presidents, Pauline Maier for Ratification, John Fonte for Sovereignty or Submission, and, most recently, Brad S. Gregory for The Unintended Reformation.

Award Requirements

To be considered for this year's Henry and Anne Paolucci Book Award, a book must be a work of nonfiction that:

  1. Was first published in, and carries a copyright date of, 2013.
  2. Makes an outstanding contribution to the humanities and the literature of the subject.
  3. Embodies impeccable scholarship and a respect for the historical continuity of the subject.
  4. Displays a cross- or interdisciplinary approach to its subject.
  5. Avoids factional or partisan argument.

Books will be considered from a range of areas in the humanities, including but not limited to political science, history (especially American history and intellectual history), constitutional law, American domestic or foreign policy, jurisprudence, and higher education.

Nominating Procedures

  1. Nominators should send two (2) copies of each nominated book together with a press release and any other promotional materials.
  2. Letters of nomination should explain why the book is being nominated for the Paolucci Book Award and how it meets the award requirements stated above.
  3. Send nominations to:
    The Paolucci Book Award
    Attn: Jed Donahue
    Intercollegiate Studies Institute
    3901 Centerville Road
    Wilmington, DE 19807–1938

Selection Process and Deadlines

  • Deadline for nominations: May 16, 2014
  • Finalists announced: June 2014
  • Winner announced: August 2014
  • Public lecture by winner in Wilmington, Delaware: November 2014

Awardee's Lecture and Reception

The winner will be asked to give a public lecture in Wilmington, Delaware, in early November 2014. The winning author will receive the $5,000 cash award at this time. The lecture and award ceremony will be followed by a reception.

About Henry and Anne Paolucci

Henry Paolucci, PhD (1922–1999), 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 City College, as well as a graduate course on Dante and medieval culture at Columbia University. Dr. Paolucci wrote or edited more than thirty 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 Senate against Democrat Robert F. Kennedy and the Republican incumbent, Kenneth Keating.

Anne Paolucci, PhD (1926–2012), 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 (CUNY) 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, Dr. Paolucci was perhaps best known for her work on the plays of Pirandello and of Edward Albee. She was the founding president of the Council on National Literatures, and for nearly a decade she served on the National Council on the Humanities.