2000: Anthony Sampson & Katherine Newman
Mandela / No Shame in My Game
2000: Anthony Sampson & Katherine Newman

The 2000 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award went to Anthony Sampson for Mandela and Katherine Newman for No Shame in My Game.

Sampson’s Mandela, the only authorized biography of the leader who ended Apartheid, follows Nelson Mandela from his boyhood in remote villages to his transformation into a global icon of strength, moral courage and racial reconciliation. Sampson, who had known Mandela since 1951, was given Mandela's complete cooperation, including access to twenty-seven years' worth of unpublished correspondence from prison and many other private documents, and interviewed virtually every significant living figure associated with the South African leader. Anthony Sampson was a British writer and journalist who spent years in South Africa as editor of Drum magazine. He died in 2004.

Katherine Newman's No Shame in My Game: The Working Poor in the Inner Citychallenges many of the assumptions surrounding poverty in America. For two years, Newman, a professor of urban studies at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and her research assistants focused on 300 workers and job-seekers at four fast-food restaurants in Harlem, one of the nation's most depressed urban areas. Their results revealed that contrary to popular opinion, America's working poor are committed to earning a living and supporting themselves despite the ready alternatives of crime and welfare. No Shame in My Game reveals the essential contribution that low-wage earners make to the survival of poor households and the ways in which these jobs affect young people's attitudes, prospects, and self-image.