- David Samuels's "In a Ruined Country: How Yasir Arafat Destroyed Palestine"
- David Gelernter's "The Inventor of Modern Conservatism"
- Louis Menand's "Missionary: Edmund Wilson and American Culture"
I'm a little unclear why Brooks chose Sidney Hook as the award's namesake and not Lionel Trilling or someone else similar. I've read Hook (actually, I wrote a 30-some page paper on him) and I never found him to be original (almost all his ideas are reactions to or extensions from John Dewey, his mentor) or even a very good writer. His prose is limpid, arid, and tedious.
I suppose that's why Brooks admires him.