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Yalies grab a fistful of Pulitzers

On a day dominated initially by celebration of Yale's first-ever national hockey championship, and later by shock and grief at the Boston Marathon massacre, you might have missed the news that four Yale alumni won Pulitzers on Monday.

In alphabetical order, they are:

* Charles Duhigg ’97, among other New York Times staffers who won for explanatory reporting. The team's "penetrating look into business practices by Apple and other technology companies . . . illustrates the darker side of a changing global economy for workers and consumers," the Pulitzer judges wrote.

* Philip Kennicott ’88 of the Washington Post, who won the criticism prize for "his eloquent and passionate essays on art and the social forces that underlie it." The Pulitzer judges call Kennicott "a critic who always strives to make his topics and targets relevant to readers." One of his winning entries, especially relevant to us Yalies and New Haveners, is about the architecture of Kevin Roche:

In the mid-1980s, I was condemned to spend several years in New Haven, Conn., at the time one of the saddest and ugliest cities in the world. Preeminent among the many ugly things in New Haven were two buildings designed by Kevin Roche: a factorylike stadium, which placed parking above the arena, and a fortresslike office tower with massive turrets at each corner, which was so bluntly arrogant in its blank, alien form that it made all the city seem its prisoner.

Ah, yes—the late, lamented New Haven Coliseum and the Knights of Columbus tower, which one of my former colleagues dubbed the Tootsie Roll Building.

* Cornell University scholar Fredrik Logevall ’93PhD, who earned the history prize for Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam. The judges call the book "a balanced, deeply researched history of how, as French colonial rule faltered, a succession of American leaders moved step by step down a road toward full-blown war."

* Last but definitely not least, Caroline Shaw ’07MusM, winner of the music prize for her composition "Partita for 8 Voices." Recorded by the Yalie-dominated vocal group Roomful of Teeth, "Partita" is "a highly polished and inventive a cappella work uniquely embracing speech, whispers, sighs, murmurs, wordless melodies and novel vocal effects," the judges say. Mmmm.

Filed under Pulitzer Prizes, Caroline Shaw, Fredrik Logevall, Philip Kennicott, Charles Duhigg
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