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Conservative Book of the Year Award

ISI’s Paolucci Book Award

This award recognizes the conservative book of the year. It comes with a $10,000 cash prize.

Here are the finalists! And don’t miss ISI’s Conservative Book of the Year dinner in Chicago on Saturday, March 30!

ISI is excited to announce the finalists for Conservative Book of the Year: 

  • Patrick J. Deneen, Why Liberalism Failed (Yale University Press)
  • Jonah Goldberg, Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics Is Destroying American Democracy (Crown Forum)
  • Yoram Hazony, The Virtue of Nationalism (Basic Books)
  • Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (Penguin Press)
  • Roger Scruton, Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition (All Points Books)

A distinguished panel of outside judges will select the winner, who will receive ISI’s Paolucci Book Award along with a $10,000 cash prize. The winner will be announced in February. 

In announcing the finalists, ISI president Charlie Copeland said: “ISI exists to help thoughtful, intellectually curious people deepen their understanding of conservative principles. We honor the Conservative Book of the Year because, now more than ever, thoughtful books are needed to nurture the principles that sustain liberty. These five finalists reflect the rich debate and discussion happening among conservatives of all stripes.”

Save the date for ISI’s Conservative Book of the Year dinner, which will be held in Chicago in conjunction with the national meeting of America’s preeminent conservative intellectual forum, the Philadelphia Society. Here are details on the event:

  • DATE: Saturday, March 30
  • TIME: 7:30 p.m.
  • LOCATION: Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel, 1 W. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60601

Tickets for the dinner will become available soon. In the meantime, if you are interested in attending or finding out more about the event, please contact Allyssa Schulz at or 302-524-6144.

The Award
Headshots of Henry and Anne Paolucci

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.

The award winner’s lecture is routinely aired on C-SPAN’s Book TV. See links below for previous broadcasts. Past winners of ISI’s Paolucci Book Award (formerly known as the Henry Paolucci/Walter Bagehot Book Award) include:

Award Requirements

To be considered for ISI’s Paolucci Book Award, a book must be a work of nonfiction that:

  • Advances our understanding of conservative principles
  • Makes an outstanding contribution to the humanities and the literature of the subject
  • Avoids factional or partisan argumentation
  • Was first published in 2018

A distinguished panel of judges selects the winner:

  • Amity Shlaes, author of Coolidge and The Forgotten Man
  • Angelo M. Codevilla, author of Advice to War Presidents (winner of ISI’s 2010 Paolucci Book Award)
  • Clara Sarrocco, executive director of the Council on National Literatures
  • Matthew A. Pauley, chair of political science and legal studies at Manhattanville College
  • Ronald F. Docksai, president of the Walter Bagehot Council
  • Serphin Maltese, former chairman of the Conservative Party of New York
How to Nominate a Book

The deadline for nominations has passed. 

Questions? Email us at

Award Ceremony

ISI will present the Conservative Book of the Year award at a dinner in Chicago on Saturday, March 30, 2019. The winner will receive the $10,000 cash award at that time.


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 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 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 the U.S. 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 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. 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).