This year's Pulitzer Prizes honored many writers who have been discussed in Slate. In March, David Plotz assessed the New York Times' Thomas Freidman (winner for commentary) and declared him "the most important opinion journalist in America." After Sept. 11, James Fallows dug into New York Times Editor Howell Raines for his sudden conversion to so-called civic journalism, most notably with the "A Nation Challenged" section—which won the public-service prize. (Earlier Raines had derided civic journalism as an "insidious danger" because it caused reporters and editors to "become public policy missionaries with a puritanical contempt for horse-race politics.") In this "Book Club," Christopher Caldwell described Louis Menand's The Metaphysical Club (the winner for history) as "a painstakingly thought out, gracefully written, and riveting book."