Celebrating World Book Day

In celebration of World Book Day we look back over Carnegie Corporation of New York’s 100-year history of supporting some of the world’s foremost scholarly research, which resulted in books heralded as modern classics—and sometimes changed the course of history. The Corporation has supported a host of individual scholars whose work tackled the hardest issues of their time. Some celebrated beneficiaries include Gunnar Myrdal, enlisted by the Corporation to undertake a two-year landmark study of the condition of the Negro in America. The resulting book, An American Dilemma (1944), was cited in the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. the Board of Education, which ended “separate but equal” education for black children, and served as a moral wake-up call prior to the civil rights movement. In 1967, the Corporation also funded the early works of Robert Caro, a reporter and Carnegie Fellow in Journalism at Columbia University, who received one year’s salary and an office in order to write a book. The result was The Power Broker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning account of Robert Moses and the making of modern New York City, which was selected by the Modern Library as one of the hundred greatest nonfiction books of the twentieth century. Caro has since written the multiple prize-winning four-volume biography The Years of Lyndon Johnson.