2019 PEN America Literary Service Award: Bob Woodward
2019 Literary Service Award Honoree
At the 2019 PEN America Literary Gala, Bob Woodward will receive the 2019 PEN America Literary Service Award. The award is presented annually to a critically-acclaimed author whose work embodies PEN America’s mission to oppose repression in any form and to champion the best of humanity.
Bob Woodward is an associate editor of The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1971. He has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, first in 1973 for the coverage of the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein, and second in 2003 as the lead reporter for coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
He has authored 19 books; the latest, Fear: Trump in the White House became a #1 international best seller, selling over 1.1 million copies in its first week in September 2018 and breaking the 94-year-old first week sales record for its publisher Simon & Schuster.
Lloyd Green wrote in a review for The Guardian that Fear “depicts a White House awash in dysfunction, where the Lord of the Flies is the closest thing to an owner’s manual.”
Robert Gates, former director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense, said of Woodward, “He has an extraordinary ability to get otherwise responsible adults to spill [their] guts to him . . . his ability to get people to talk about stuff they shouldn’t be talking about is just extraordinary and may be unique.”
All 19 of Woodward’s books have been national nonfiction best sellers, and 13 of those have been #1 best sellers, more than any contemporary author. No one digs deeper or has provided a more detailed or penetrating portrait of the nine presidents—from Nixon to Trump—he has written about for the Post or in books.
Bob Schieffer of CBS News has said, “Woodward has established himself as the best reporter of our time. He may be the best reporter of all time.”
In listing the all-time 100 best nonfiction books, Time Magazine has called All the President’s Men, by Bernstein and Woodward, “Perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history.”