2017: Evicted by Matthew Desmond

2016: For Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story by David Maraniss

2015: The Crusades of Cesar Chavez by Miriam Pawel

2014: The Great Dissent by Thomas Healy

2013: The Price of Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz 

2012: The Justice Cascade by Kathryn Sikkink

2011: The Big Short by Michael Lewis

2010: Ordinary Injustice by Amy Bach

2009: The Dark Side by Jane Mayer

2008: Going Down Jericho Road by Michael Honey

2007: The Great Deluge by Douglas Brinkley

2006: Mirror to America by John Hope Franklin

2005: Perilous Times by Geoffrey R. Stone and We Are All the Same by Jim Wooten

2004: Ultimate Punishment by Scott Turow

2003: At the Hands of Persons Unknown by Philip Dray and A Problem from Hell by Samantha Power  

2002: American Patriots by Gail Buckley

2001: Without Sanctuary by James Allen and Blood of the Liberals by George Packer

2000: Mandela by Anthony Sampson and No Shame In My Game by Katherine Newman

1999: Walking With the Wind by Congressman John Lewis with Michael D'Orso

1998: Race, Crime, and the Law by Randall Kennedy and The Soldiers' Tale by Samuel Hynes

1997: Worse Than Slavery by David Oshinsky

1996: Circumstantial Evidence by Pete Earley and The Politics of Rage by Dan T. Carter

1995: Speak Now Against the Day by John Egerton

1994: Taming the Storm by Jack Bass

1993: Earth in the Balance by Al Gore

​1992: Praying for Sheetrock by Melissa Fay Greene

1991: The Long Haul by Myles Horton and Herbert and Judith Kohl and The Burning Season by Andrew Revkin

1990: Among Schoolchildren by Tracy Kidder and Big Sugar by Alec Wilkinson

1989: A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan and Rachel and Her Children by Jonathan Kozol

1988: Beloved by Toni Morrison and Song in a Weary Throat by Pauli Murray

1987: Bearing the Cross by David J. Garrow

1986: Common Ground by J. Anthony Lukas and Reaping the Whirlwhind by Robert Norrell

1984: Children of War by Roger Rosenblatt

1983: Let the Trumpet Sound by Stephen B. Oates

1982: The Child Savers by Peter S. Prescott

1981: Civilities and Civil Rights by William H. Chafe