Spiderweb Capitalism wins the R.R. Hawkins Award

We’re thrilled to share that Spiderweb Capitalism: How Global Elites Exploit Frontier Markets by Kimberly Kay Hoang has been awarded the prestigious R.R. Hawkins Award, the top prize among the Association of American Publishers (AAP) PROSE Awards. The book was also named winner of the PROSE Award for Excellence in Social Science.

Dazzlingly written, Spiderweb Capitalism examines the many moral dilemmas of making money in legal, financial, and political gray zones, offering a behind-the-scenes look at how the rich and powerful use offshore shell corporations to conceal their wealth and make themselves richer. In the book Hoang, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Chicago and author of the award-winning Dealing in Desire: Asian Ascendency, Western Decline, and the Hidden Currencies of Global Sex Work, draws on hundreds of interviews with financial professionals to trace the illicit movement of wealth around the globe, from offshore funds in the Cayman Islands, Samoa, and Panama to special-purpose vehicles and holding companies in Singapore and Hong Kong, and into risky markets onshore in Vietnam and Myanmar. Praised as a “work of true crime as much as scholarship, highly readable and maddening” (Kirkus Reviews), the PROSE Award’s Chief Judge, Nigel Fletcher-Jones, PhD, noted that Spiderweb Capitalism combines, “excellent storytelling, clear prose, and impressive academic research to create a truly compelling and enlightening narrative.”

In addition Spiderweb Capitalism, sixteen Princeton University Press books were earlier recognized by the 2023 PROSE Awards as Category Winners and Finalists. The books honored this year represent a diversity of subject areas and topics across the social sciences, sciences, and humanities, from the dreams of animals and the minds of bees to the new science of biomolecules, the hidden sounds of nature, and much else. Included among the finalists are publishing collaborations with the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Gallery of Art, as well as several first books. A full list is below, congratulation to all those honored this year.

2023 Category Winners

The Five-Million Year Odyssey: The Human Journey from Ape to Agriculture by Peter Bellwood, Biological Anthropology, Archaeology, and Ancient History Category

The epic story of human evolution, from our primate beginnings more than five million years ago to the agricultural era.

When Animals Dream: The Hidden World of Animal Consciousness by David M. Peña-Guzmán, Philosophy Category

A spellbinding look at the philosophical and moral implications of animal dreaming.

Remnants of Ancient Life: The New Science of Old Fossils by Dale E. Greenwalt, Earth History Category

An exploration of revolution in science that is transforming our understanding of extinct life.

The World Atlas of Trees and Forests: Exploring Earth’s Forest Ecosystems by Herman Shugart, Peter White, Sassan Saatchi, and Jérôme Chave, Environmental Science Category

 A marvelously illustrated look at the world’s diverse forests and their ecosystems.

Rules: A Short History of What We Live By by Lorraine Daston, History of Science, Medicine, Technology Category

A panoramic history of rules in the Western world.

Spiderweb Capitalism: How Global Elites Exploit Frontier Markets by Kimberly Kay Hoang, Business, Finance, and Management Category

A behind-the-scenes look at how the rich and powerful use offshore shell corporations to conceal their wealth and make themselves richer.

Adam Smith’s America: How A Scottish Philosopher Became an Icon of American Capitalism by Glory Liu, Economics Category

The unlikely story of how Americans canonized Adam Smith as the patron saint of free markets.

Doing the Right Thing: How Colleges and Universities Can Undo Systemic Racism in Faculty Hiring by Mary Beth Gasman, Education Theory and Practice Category

An honest confrontation of systemic racism in faculty hiring—and what to do about it.

2023 Finalists 

The Mind of a Bee by Lars Chittka, Biological Sciences Category

A rich and surprising exploration of the intelligence of bees.

We Are Made of Stories: Self-Taught Artists in the Robson Family Collection by Leslie Umberger, Art Exhibitions Category

A richly illustrated history of self-taught artists and how they changed American art, co-published with the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Chinese Art and Dynastic Time by Wu Hung, Art History and Criticism Category

A sweeping look at Chinese art across the millennia that upends traditional perspectives and offers new pathways for art history, published in association with the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

The World the Plague Made: The Black Death and the Rise of Europe by James Belich, European History Category

A groundbreaking history of how the Black Death unleashed revolutionary change across the medieval world and ushered in the modern age.

Postcards from Absurdistan: Prague at the End of History by Derek Sayer, European History Category

A sweeping history of a twentieth-century Prague torn between fascism, communism, and democracy—with lessons for a world again threatened by dictatorship. 

The Sounds of Life: How Digital Technology Is Bringing Us Closer to the Worlds of Plants and Animals by Karen Bakker, Popular Science and Mathematics Category

An amazing journey into the hidden realm of nature’s sounds.

The Mirror and the Mind: A History of Self-Recognition in Human Sciences by Katja Guenther, History of Science, Medicine, Technology Category

How the classic mirror test served as a portal for scientists to explore questions of self-awareness.

A Monetary and Fiscal History of the United States, 1961–2021 by Alan S. Blinder, Economics Category

From the New York Times bestselling author, the fascinating story of U.S. economic policy from Kennedy to Biden—filled with lessons for today. 

Healthcare Finance: Modern Financial Analysis for Accelerating Biomedical Innovation by Andrew W. Lo and Shomesh E. Chaudhuri, Reference Work, Social Science Category

An introductory finance textbook for the healthcare industry.