A New York Times Notable Book · A Best Book of the Year, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, The New Yorker, and Publishers Weekly · A Best History Book of 2015, Amazon · Finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize
“Impeccably researched . . . Russakoff pulls readers in with richly drawn real-world characters.” — Atlantic
“Stunning . . . Russakoff’s narrative is rich with details and anecdotes that showcase the quality of her writing and bring Newark to life.” — Chicago Tribune
When Mark Zuckerberg announced his $100 million pledge to transform the Newark schools and create an education model that could be applied to any city in the nation, it looked like a huge win for New Jersey politicians Cory Booker and Chris Christie. But their plan met the opposition of Newark’s key education players, who were fiercely protective of their billion-dollar-a-year system — a prize that, for generations, had enriched seemingly everyone, except Newark’s students. With deeply drawn portraits of everyone from the philanthropists throwing millions at a haphazard plan, to the teachers fighting to reach students damaged by extreme poverty and violence, The Prize is a riveting account of the complexities and challenges that face all of America’s failing schools.
“Russakoff provides insights that should prove useful both to contemporary school reformers and to citizens hoping to understand their efforts.” — Washington Post
“A moving and thought-provoking book . . . Invaluable.” — New York Times