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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.

Submit your nominations for Conservative Book of the Year!

Submit your nomination

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) exists to help thoughtful, intellectually curious people deepen their understanding of conservative principles. And we believe it is through books that serious ideas can best be developed, debated, and refined. Indeed, now more than ever, thoughtful books are needed to nurture and ultimately advance the principles that sustain liberty.

That is why ISI annually honors the best book that advances conservative principles.

ISI recognizes the conservative book of the year with the Paolucci Book Award.

And now you can submit your nominations.

For this nomination cycle, we will consider works of nonfiction that were first published in 2018.  

We are looking for books that advance our understanding of conservative principles while making an outstanding contribution to the literature of their subjects. (See more details under “Award Requirements,” below.)

The winning author will receive a $10,000 cash award and deliver a talk on his or her book during a dinner ceremony in Chicago on Saturday, March 30, 2019. ISI’s Paolucci Book Award lectures are routinely broadcast on C-SPAN’s Book TV. (Watch videos below.) 

Recent winners of ISI’s Paolucci Book Award include author and journalist Rod Dreher for The Benedict Option, historian Bradley J. Birzer for Russell Kirk: American Conservative, biographer Richard Brookhiser for Founders’ Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln, British politician and journalist Daniel Hannan for Inventing Freedom, and Notre Dame historian Brad S. Gregory for The Unintended Reformation. A distinguished panel of judges will select this year’s winner.

Deadline for nominations: Thursday, November 15, 2018

Submit your nomination

The Award
Headshots of Henry and Anne Paolucci

ISI’s Paolucci Book Award honors the conservative book of the year. 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 2019 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 will selected the 2019 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

Submit your nomination here 

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).