Bernstein Award Finalist Series: Dale Russakoff

Tue. Apr 12, 2016 at 6:00pm EDT
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Bernstein Award Finalist Series: Dale Russakoff

In celebration of the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, The New York Public Library invites finalist Dale Russakoff for a conversation with Jessica Strand. Dale Russakoff is nominated for her book The Prize: Who’s In Charge of America’s Schools. 

In The Prize: Who’s In Charge of America’s Schools, reporter Dale Russakoff uses her extensive access to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, then Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to tell the definitive story of Zuckerberg’s $100 million quest to transform and greatly improve the debilitated Newark, NJ public schools. Evaluating the specific situation provides a compelling and honest examination of the school reform movement in the United States.  

Dale Russakoff spent twenty-eight years as a reporter for the Washington Post, covering politics, education, social policy, and other topics. The Prize, serialized in The New Yorker, is her first book. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey.


Since 1988 the Bernstein Award, which includes a $15,000 cash prize, has been given to journalists whose books have brought clarity and public attention to important issues, events, or policies. Previous winners of the award include Dan Fagin, Katherine Boo, Ellen E. Schultz, Shane Harris, David Finkel and Jane Mayer.  Anand Giridharadas won last year for his acclaimed book, The True American; Murder and Mercy in TexasView press release,  video, and photo gallery of the event.

The Bernstein Award was established through a gift from Joseph Frank Bernstein, in honor of journalist Helen Bernstein (now Helen Bernstein Fealy).  The family has also endowed the position of Helen Bernstein Librarian for Periodicals and Journals, who curates The New York Public Library’s internationally-renowned Periodicals collection - one of the largest collections of past and present newspapers, magazines, and more in the world. The position is currently held by librarian Karen Gisonny.

More information about the Bernstein Awards and programs here!

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Wachenheim Trustees Room (2nd Floor) The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 42nd Street & 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018