Kertzer, a professor of anthropology and Italian studies at Brown University, was recognized in the biography-autobiography category for The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe.
Also recognized, for fiction, was Anthony Doerr for another book on World War II, “All the Light We Cannot See,” a complexly woven and emotionally powerful novel set in occupied France and Nazi Germany.
The prestigious journalism and literature awards were announced on April 20.
Kertzer based his book on research into papal documents from the interwar years released by Pope John Paul II and other material. He told the Brown Daily Herald,
Kertzer’s 1997 nonfiction book, “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara,” won the National Jewish Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. It is being made into a film by Steven Spielberg based on a script by Tony Kushner.