Founded by the brilliant, misanthropic inventor of dynamite, the Nobel Prize has for a hundred years claimed to identify the summit of human achievement. But what exactly is the Nobel Institution? How does it choose its winners? Has it ever made a mistake? And why does the prize hold such importance? With deft insight and sparkling wit, Burton Feldman considers these questions while taking us on a fascinating tour of every aspect of Alfred Nobel's grand legacy: its founder, its aura, its fields of award—literature, physics, chemistry, medicine, peace, and economics—and its laureates' personalities and rivalries, as well as its biases, controversies, and blunders. The first comprehensive and critical survey ever written of the world's most famous award, The Nobel Prize is a masterly synthesis of biography, storytelling, and interdisciplinary analysis, ranging easily and confidently from literature to science to politics to economics. This monumental, witty, and eloquent book will remain the definitive work on the prize for decades to come, remarkable for its comprehensiveness, depth of insight, and never-failing capacity to surprise and entertain.