The National Book Foundation announced that my new book, The First Tycoon, is a finalist for the National Book Award.
I'm flabbergasted—overjoyed, stunned, and humbled all at once. Yes, humbled, corny as that sounds. I'll be honest: I try my best to write at a level that would merit this kind of recognition, so this honor is a dream come true. But I really do believe in publishing a book with all humility, and this only drives that point home. There are hundreds of fine nonfiction books being published this year, and dozens that merit serious consideration for a national prize. Being singled out is a gift, plain and simple.