The Pulitzer Prizes were announced earlier this month, and we were glad to see a few of the pieces we have featured in the past year among the winners. We were also happy to have new things to read! In this week’s In Case You Missed It edition, we’re drawing your attention to three Pulitzer winners we’ve featured in the recent past.
Matthew Desmond won in the General Nonfiction category for his book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Though we only review a handful of books, Chase Daws, our intern last summer, wrote a great review of Evicted for Vol. 59. In that review, Daws describes Desmond’s work as an account of how “the land of opportunity has devolved into the land of the opportunistic.” We recommend both the review and the book to readers interested in knowing more about the role of housing insecurity in the American urban landscape.
We were also pleased to see that Eric Eyre won a Pulitzer for his investigative reporting on the opioid crisis in West Virginia. A statehouse reporter for the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Eyre began his three-part account with a simple maxim: “follow the pills and you’ll find the overdose deaths.” In Vol. 78 of Culture Briefing, “On Drugs and Pain in America,” we featured Eyre’s writing alongside articles investigating drug companies’ lobbying to ensure that powerfully addicting drugs can be prescribed en masse. This is an abiding interest of ours, and Eyre’s investigative work has been uniquely effective in uncovering one crucial component of this ongoing crisis.
Finally, we were happy to see ProPublica win a Pulitzer in the category of Public Service. Though we didn’t feature the particular story they won for, we’ve found their journalism to be consistently non-ideological and deeply informative on a number of matters. In Vol. 33 we pointed to their work on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan; in Vol. 51 we featured Dan Barry’s investigation of the “bunkhouse boys” of Atalissa, Iowa; and in Vol. 66, Sam Speers leaned upon their reporting in a volume on “Algorithms and Criminal Justice.”
At bottom, Culture Briefing has always been an attempt to direct your attention. By highlighting pieces of scholarship, investigative reporting, and cultural commentary we aim to help you understand the world you woke up in in all its complexity, beauty, and profundity. We hope you enjoy this brief dip back into our archives.