Winners of the Bancroft Prize Announced

Ed LogueHere is the press release:

Columbia University Libraries is pleased to award the 2020 Bancroft Prizes in American History and Diplomacy to two acclaimed works: Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age by Lizabeth Cohen (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019) and Illusions of Emancipation: The Pursuit of Freedom and Equality in the Twilight of Slavery by Joseph P. Reidy (The University of North Carolina Press, 2019).

In Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age, historian Lizabeth Cohen provides a nuanced view of federally-funded urban redevelopment and of one of its major practitioners that goes beyond the simplicity of good and bad, heroes and villains. Cohen is Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies and Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of History at Harvard University. Cohen also received a Bancroft Prize in 1991 for her first book, Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939 (Cambridge University Press, 1990).  

Through prodigious research and compelling argument, historian Joseph P. Reidy’s long-awaited Illusions of Emancipation: The Pursuit of Freedom and Equality in the Twilight of Slavery builds upon and departs from a raft of historiography to deepen our understanding of emancipation’s vagaries in the United States. Reidy is Associate Provost and Professor Emeritus of History at Howard University.Ilusions

The Trustees of Columbia University award the Bancroft Prizes annually. Winners are judged in terms of the scope, significance, depth of research, and richness of interpretation they present in the areas of American history and diplomacy. There were 200 books submitted for consideration for the 2020 prize.

The Bancroft Prizes, which are administered by Vice Provost and University Librarian Ann Thornton, also include an award of $10,000 for each winning selection.

About the Bancroft Foundation: The Edgar A. and Frederic Bancroft Foundation is an endowment created at Columbia University by the late Frederic Bancroft to further scholarly work in two ways: the income from the Foundation generously provides for steady development of library resources to support research in American history and diplomacy and provides for recognition of books of exceptional merit and distinction in these fields by annual awarding prizes to the authors.

Check out interview with Joseph Reidy here.

The American Historical Association Announces 2019 Prize Winners

AHAlogo

Here are a few of the winners:

The Albert J. Beveridge Award on the history of the United States, Latin America, or Canada, from 1492 to the present

Nan Enstad (Univ. of Wisconsin–Madison) for Cigarettes, Inc.: An Intimate History of Corporate Imperialism (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2018)

The Raymond J. Cunningham Prize for the best article published in a history department journal written by an undergraduate student

Lena Giger (Stanford Univ., BA 2019) for “The Right to Participate and the Right to Compete: Stanford Women’s Athletics, 1956–1995,” Herodotus (Spring 2019); faculty advisor: Estelle Freedman (Stanford Univ.)

The John H. Dunning Prize for the most outstanding book in US history 

Christina Snyder (Penn State Univ.) for Great Crossings: Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in the Age of Jackson (Oxford Univ. Press, 2017)

The William and Edwyna Gilbert Award for the best article in a journal, magazine, or other serial on teaching history

Sam Wineburg (Stanford Univ.), Mark Smith (Stanford History Education Group), and Joel Breakstone (Stanford Univ.), for “What Is Learned in College History Classes?” Journal of American History 104 (March 2018)

The Littleton-Griswold Prize in US law and society, broadly defined

Martha S. Jones (Johns Hopkins Univ.) for Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2018)

The Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History to a freely available new media project

Robert K. Nelson, Justin Madron, Nathaniel Ayers, and Edward Ayers (Digital Scholarship Lab, Univ. of Richmond) for American Panorama: An Atlas of United States History

The Herbert Feis Award for distinguished contributions to public history

Sonia Hernandez (Texas A&M Univ.), Trinidad Gonzales (South Texas Coll.), John Morán González (Univ. of Texas at Austin), Benjamin Johnson (Loyola Univ. of Chicago), and Monica Muñoz Martinez (Brown Univ.) for the Refusing to Forget project.

All the winners are listed here.

David Blight and Lisa Brooks Win the Bancroft Prize

BrooksBlights wins for Frederick Douglass, Prophet of Freedom.

Brooks wins for Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War.

Congratulations!

Here is a taste of an article on the winners at The New York Times:

A mammoth biography of Frederick Douglass and a new study of the 17th-century colonial American conflict known as King Philip’s War have won this year’s Bancroft Prize, which is considered one of the most prestigious honors in the field of American history.

David W. Blight’s “Frederick Douglass, Prophet of Freedom,”published by Simon and Schuster, was cited for offering “a definitive portrait” of the 19th-century former slave, abolitionist, writer and orator “in all his fullness and imperfection, his intellectual gifts and emotional needs.”

Lisa Brooks’s “Our Beloved Kin,” published by Yale University Press, was praised for how it “imaginatively illuminates submerged indigenous histories,” drawing readers into “a complex world of tensions, alliances and betrayals” that fueled the conflict between Native Americans in New England and European colonists and their Indian allies.

The Bancroft, which includes an award of $10,000, was established in 1948 by the trustees of Columbia University, with a bequest from the historian Frederic Bancroft.

Blight

 

The Organization of American Historians Announce It’s 2018 Award Winners

dd137-oahmastheadHere are a few of the winners that caught our eye:

Roy Rosenzweig Distinguished Service Award for an individual or individuals whose contributions have significantly enriched our understanding and appreciation of American history.

Linda K. Kerber, Emerita, University of Iowa

Friend of History Award recognizes an institution or organization, or an individual working primarily outside college or university settings, for outstanding support of historical research, the public presentation of American history, or the work of the OAH.

The Civil War Trust, civilwar.org

Frederick Jackson Turner Award for a first scholarly book dealing with some aspect of American history.

Brian McCammack, Lake Forest College, Landscapes of Hope: Nature and the Great Migration in Chicago (Harvard University Press)

Merle Curti Intellectual History Award for the best book published in American intellectual history.

Brittney C. Cooper, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women (University of Illinois Press)

Merle Curti Social History Award for the best book published in American social history.

Tiya Miles, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits (The New Press)

Avery O. Craven Award for the most original book on the coming of the Civil War, the Civil War years, or the Era of Reconstruction, with the exception of works of purely military history.

Edward L. Ayers, University of Richmond, The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America (W. W. Norton & Company)

Ellis W. Hawley Prize for the best book-length historical study of the political economy, politics, or institutions of the United States, in its domestic or international affairs, from the Civil War to the present.

Richard White, Stanford University, The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865–1896 (Oxford University Press)

Liberty Legacy Foundation Award for the best book on the civil rights struggle from the beginnings of the nation to the present.

Ula Yvette Taylor, University of California, Berkeley, The Promise of Patriarchy: Women and the Nation of Islam (University of North Carolina Press)

Mary Nickliss Prize in U.S. Women’s and/or Gender History for the most original book in U.S. women’s and/or gender history.

Tera W. Hunter, Princeton University, Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century (Harvard University Press)

Mary K. Bonsteel Tachau Teacher of the Year Award for contributions made by precollegiate teachers to improve history education within the field of American history.

Christopher W. Stanley, Ponaganset High School, North Scituate, Rhode Island

Click here for a list of all the winners.

The 2018 George Washington Book Prize Finalists Announced

fda8a-gwprize1

*Was America Founded as a Christian Nation* Was a Finalist in 2012

The 2018 George Washington Prize finalists are:

● S. Max Edelson, The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence (Harvard University Press)

● Kevin J. Hayes, George Washington: A Life in Books (Oxford University Press)

● Eric Hinderaker, Boston’s Massacre (Harvard University Press)

● Jon Kukla, Patrick Henry: Champion of Liberty (Simon & Schuster)

● James E. Lewis, Jr., The Burr Conspiracy Uncovering the Story of an Early American Crisis (Princeton University Press)

● Jennifer Van Horn, The Power of Objects in Eighteenth-Century America (University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture)

● Douglas L. Winiarski, Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England (University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture)

Congratulations!

American Historical Association Announces 2017 Prize Winners

AHAlogo

You can see the list of winners here.

Here are some of the winners that might be of interest to the readers of The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

The Albert J. Beveridge Award on the history of the United States, Latin America, or Canada, from 1492 to the present: David A. Chang (Univ. of Minnesota) for The World and All the Things upon It: Native Hawaiian Geographies of Exploration (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2016)

The John H. Dunning Prize for an author’s first or second book on any subject relating to United States history: Matthew Karp (Princeton Univ.) for This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy (Harvard Univ. Press, 2016)

The William and Edwyna Gilbert Award for the best article in a journal, magazine, or other serial on teaching history: Laura K. Muñoz (Texas A&M Univ.-Corpus Christi) for “Civil Rights, Educational Inequality, and Transnational Takes on the US History Survey,” History of Education Quarterly 56, no. 1 (February 2016)

The Joan Kelly Memorial Prize for women’s history and/or feminist theory: Sarah Haley (UCLA) for No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2016)

The Littleton-Griswold Prize in US law and society, broadly defined: Risa Goluboff (Univ. of Virginia Sch. of Law) for Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Making of the 1960s (Oxford Univ. Press, 2016)

The George L. Mosse Prize in the intellectual and cultural history of Europe since 1500: James T. Kloppenberg (Harvard Univ.) for Toward Democracy: The Struggle for Self-Rule in European and American Thought (Oxford Univ. Press, 2016)

The James A. Rawley Prize for the integration of Atlantic worlds before the 20th century: David Wheat (Michigan State Univ.) for Atlantic Africa and the Spanish Caribbean, 1570–1640 (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2016)

The Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History to a freely available new media project: Keisha N. Blain (Univ. of Pittsburgh) and Ibram X. Kendi (American Univ.) for Black Perspectives (African American Intellectual History Society)

The Wesley-Logan Prize in African diaspora history: Sowande’ M. Mustakeem (Washington Univ. in St. Louis) for Slavery at Sea: Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage (Univ. of Illinois Press, 2016)

The Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award for outstanding postsecondary history teaching;; Laura M. Westhoff (Univ. of Missouri, St. Louis)

The Beveridge Family Teaching Prize for distinguished K–12 history teaching: Gustavo Carrera (Buckingham Browne and Nichols Sch.)

The Herbert Feis Award for distinguished contributions to public history: Lonnie G. Bunch III (Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture)

The Award for Scholarly Distinction to senior historians for lifetime achievement: Richard S. Dunn (Univ. of Pennsylvania) and John Merriman (Yale Univ.)

The Finalists for the 2017 National Book Awards

EvangelicalsA couple of weeks ago we did a post on the long list.  Yesterday the finalists for the National Book Award was released.  Good to see that the short list for nonfiction is dominated by history.

Erica Armstrong Dunbar: Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge

Frances FitzGerald: The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America

Masha Gessen: The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia

David Grann: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Nancy MacLean: Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America

Two of the author’s on this list have agreed to appear this year on The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast.  Stay tuned.

The National Book Award Longlist

Ona JudgeThe following ten books will be considered for the National Book Award:

Erica Armstrong Dunbar, “Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge
37 ink / Atria / Simon & Schuster

Frances FitzGerald, “The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America” Simon & Schuster

James Forman, Jr., “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America
Farrar, Straus & Giroux / Macmillan

Masha Gessen, “The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia
Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House

David Grann, “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the F.B.I.
Doubleday / Penguin Random House

Naomi Klein, “No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need
Haymarket Books

Nancy MacLean, “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America
Viking / Penguin Random House

Richard Rothstein, “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
Liveright / W. W. Norton & Company

Timothy B. Tyson, “The Blood of Emmett Till
Simon & Schuster

Kevin Young, “Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News
Graywolf Press

Nathaniel Philbrick Wins the 2017 George Washington Book Prize

PhilbrickHere is a taste of the press release from Washington College, one of the sponsors of the award.

Author Nathaniel Philbrick has won the coveted George Washington Prize, including an award of $50,000, for his book, Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution (Viking). One of the nation’s largest and most prestigious literary awards and now in its 12th year, the George Washington Prize honors its namesake by recognizing the year’s best new books on the nation’s founding era, especially those that engage a broad public audience. Conferred by George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and Washington College, the award will be presented to Philbrick on May 25 at a black-tie gala at Mount Vernon.

“To have Valiant Ambition recognized in this way means a tremendous amount to me, especially given the extraordinary quality of the books produced by the other six finalists,” said Philbrick. “My heartfelt thanks to the jurors involved in the selection process and to the George Washington Prize’s sponsoring institutions.”

Valiant Ambition is a surprising account of the middle years of the American Revolution and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold. Philbrick creates a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and of the war that gave birth to a nation. He focuses on loyalty and personal integrity as he explores the relationship between Washington and Arnold—an impulsive but sympathetic hero whose misfortunes at the hands of self-serving politicians fatally destroy his faith in the legitimacy of the rebellion. As a country wary of tyrants suddenly must figure out how it should be led, Washington’s unmatched ability to rise above the petty politics of his time enables him to win the war that really matters.

“Philbrick brings both careful craftsmanship and propulsive energy to his storytelling—a hallmark of all his widely read and acclaimed books,” says Adam Goodheart, the Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College. “Moreover, Valiant Ambition is also an impressive feat of research: it offers dramatic episodes that have been largely forgotten, such as a naval battle fought by Arnold on Lake Champlain in 1776, which Philbrick turns into a heart-racing adventure story.”   

Established in 2005, the George Washington Prize has honored a dozen leading writers on the Revolutionary era including, Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the hit musical Hamilton. For this year’s prize, a distinguished jury comprised of notable historians David Preston, Kathleen DuVal, and Nick Bunker, selected the finalists from a field of nearly 60 books.

Mount Vernon’s event on May 25 will also honor the six finalists for the 2017 prize:

T.H. Breen, George Washington’s Journey: The President Forges a New Nation (Simon and Schuster)

Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf“Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (Liveright Publishing)

Jane Kamensky, A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley (W.W. Norton)

Michael J. KlarmanThe Framers’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution (Oxford University Press)

Mark Edward Lender and Garry Wheeler StoneFatal Sunday: George Washington, the Monmouth Campaign, and the Politics of Battle (University of Oklahoma Press)

Alan Taylor, American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 (W.W. Norton)

 

Congratulations to the 2017 OAH Award Winners

Here they are:

John D’Emilio LGBTQ History Dissertation Award for the best Ph.D. dissertation in U.S. LGBTQ history.

Ian Michael Baldwin, University of Redlands

Roy Rosenzweig Distinguished Service Award for an individual or individuals whose contributions have significantly enriched our understanding and appreciation of American history

Linda Gordon, New York University

Friend of History Award recognizes an institution or organization, or an individual working primarily outside college or university settings, for outstanding support of historical research, the public presentation of American history, or the work of the OAH

Lonnie G. Bunch III

Frederick Jackson Turner Award for the author of a first scholarly book dealing with some aspect of American history

Max Krochmal, Texas Christian University, Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era (University of North Carolina Press).

Merle Curti Award for the best book published in American social history and American intellectual history

Social history: Susanna L. Blumenthal, University of Minnesota for Law and the Modern Mind: Consciousness and Responsibility in American Legal Culture (Harvard University Press).

Intellectual history: Wendy Warren, Princeton University, New England Bound: Slavery and Colonization in Early America (Liveright Publishing Corporation).

Ray Allen Billington Prize for the best book on the history of native and/or settler peoples in frontier, border, and borderland zones of intercultural contact in any century to the present and to include works that address the legacies of those zones

Karl Jacoby, Columbia University, The Strange Career of William Ellis: The Texas Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionaire (W. W. Norton & Company).

Avery O. Craven Award for the most original book on the coming of the Civil War, and Civil War years, or the Era of Reconstruction, with the exception of works of purely military history

Manisha Sinha, University of Connecticut, The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition (Yale University Press).

James A. Rawley Prize for the best book with the history of race relations in the United States

Robert G. Parkinson, Binghamton University, The Common Cause: Creating Race and Nation in the American Revolution (Omohundro Institute of Early American History).

Willi Paul Adams Award for the best book on American history published in a foreign language

Catherine Collomp, Université Paris-Diderot, Résister au nazisme: Le Jewish Labor Committee, New York, 1934–1945 (CNRS Editions) [Relief, Rescue and Resistance: The Jewish Labor Committee’s Anti-Nazi Operations: 1934–1945, temporary English title before publication by an American publisher]

Ellis W. Hawley Prize for the best book-length historical study of the political economy, politics, or institutions of the United States, in its domestic or international affairs, from the Civil War to the present

Sam Lebovic, George Mason University, Free Speech and Unfree News: The Paradox of Press Freedom in America (Harvard University Press)

Liberty Legacy Foundation Award for the best book by a historian on the civil rights struggle from the beginning of the nation to the present.

Russell Rickford, Cornell University, We Are an African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination (Oxford University Press).

Lawrence W. Levine Award for the author of the best book in American cultural history.

John W. Troutman, University of Louisiana, Lafayette/National Museum of American History, Kīkā Kila: How the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Changed the Sound of Modern Music (University of North Carolina Press).

Darlene Clark Hine Award for the best book in African American women’s and gender history.

LaShawn D. Harris, Michigan State University, Sex Workers, Psychics, and Numbers Runners: Black Women in New York City’s Underground Economy (University of Illinois Press).

David Montgomery Award for the best book on a topic in American labor and working-class history, with cosponsorship by the Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA).

Ryan Patrick Murphy, Earlham College, Deregulating Desire: Flight Attendant Activism, Family Politics, and Workplace Justice (Temple University Press).

Mary Jurich Nickliss Prize in U.S. Women’s and/or Gender History for the most original book in U.S. women’s and/or gender history.

Katherine Turk, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Equality on Trial: Gender and Rights in the Modern American Workplace (University of Pennsylvania Press).

Lerner-Scott Prize for the best doctoral dissertation in U.S. women’s history.

Ava Purkiss, University of Michigan, “‘Mind, Soul, Body, and Race’: Black Women’s Purposeful Exercise in the Age of Physical Culture, 1900–1939” [dissertation completed at the University of Texas, Austin (History) under the direction of Professors Tiffany Gill and Daina Ramey Berry].

Louis Pelzer Memorial Award for best essay in American history by a graduate student.

Daniel Platt, Brown University, “Usury Reform and the Natures of Capital in the Progressive Era”

Binkley-Stephenson Award for best article appearing in the Journal of American History during the preceding calendar year.

Yael A. Sternhell, Tel Aviv University, “The Afterlives of a Confederate Archive: Civil War Documents and the Making of Sectional Reconciliation” (March 2016).

Huggins-Quarles Award for graduate students of color to assist them with expenses related to travel to research collections for the completion of the Ph.D. dissertation

Sean Parulian Harvey, Northwestern University, “Assembly Lines: Maquilas and the Making of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, 1932–1992.”

Mary K. Bonsteel Tachau Teacher of the Year Award for contributions made by precollegiate teachers to improve history education within the field of American history

Michael Williams of Warren New Tech High School in Warren, North Carolina.

Erik Barnouw Award for outstanding programming on television, or in documentary film, concerned with American history, the study of American history, and/or the promotion of American history

The Mine Wars, A Film Posse, Inc.

Stanton-Horton Award for Excellence in National Park Service History recognizes excellence in historical projects for, by, and with the National Park Service and is intended to honor projects, parks, or programs that make the NPS a leader in promoting public understanding of and engagement with American history

The Northeast Region History Program.

OAH/JAAS Japan Residencies Program

  • Jana K. Lipman, Tulane University
  • Lisa McGirr, Harvard University

Germany Residency Program

Libby Garland, Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York

OAH/AHRAC China Residencies Program

  • Nathan Citino, Rice University, Shaanxi University
  • Nancy F. Cott, Harvard University, Northeast Normal University
  • Margaret Humphreys, Duke University, Shanghai University

Samuel and Marion Merrill Graduate Student Travel Grants help sponsor the travel-related costs of graduate students who are confirmed as participants on the OAH conference program and who incur expenses traveling to the annual meeting

  • Lindsay M. Chervinsky
  • Amanda C. Demmer
  • Jacob C. Jurss
  • Harrouna Malgouri
  • Hilary Miller

OAH Presidents’ Travel Fund for Emerging Historians provides travel stipends of up to $750 for up to five graduate students and recent Ph.D.s in history (no more than four years from date of degree) whose papers or panels/sessions have been accepted by the OAH Program Committee for inclusion on the annual meeting program

  • Lauren Brand
  • Iván Chaar-López
  • Jane Dinwoodie
  • Nicole Gilhuis
  • Elizabeth J. Wood

John Higham Research Fellowship. Thanks to the generosity of William L. and Carol B. Joyce, as well as gifts from other students of John Higham, members of his family, and colleagues, the OAH is pleased to offer the John Higham Research Fellowship for graduate students writing doctoral dissertations for a Ph.D. in American history

  • Eladio B. Bobadilla, Duke University, “‘One People without Borders’: The Lost Roots of the Immigrants’ Rights Movement, 1954–1994”
  • Jonathan Lande, Brown University, “Disciplining Freedom: Union Army Slave Rebels and Emancipation in the Civil War Courts Martial”

George Washington Book Prize Finalists Chosen

alito

I got to meet Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito at the 2012 George Washington Book Prize Gala at Mount Vernon.  My Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction was one of three finalists that year.

And here they are:

Chestertown, MD—In celebration of George Washington’s 285th birthday, seven books published in 2016 by the country’s most prominent historians have been named finalists for the George Washington Prize. The annual award recognizes the past year’s best-written works on the nation’s founding era, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of early American history.

Created in 2005 by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and Washington College, the $50,000 George Washington Prize is one of the nation’s largest and most notable literary awards, and this year’s finalists include past Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners.

The finalists’ books combine depth of scholarship and broad expanse of inquiry with vivid prose that exposes the complexities of our founding narrative. Through compelling storytelling, the authors introduce readers to citizen soldiers and statesmen, artists and frontiersmen, heroes and traitors, loyalists and rebels—the ordinary, the ambitious, and the exceptional men and women who, in the chaos and contradictions of revolution, imagined a different world order and gave shape to a new nation.

Written to engage a wide public audience, the books provide a “go-to” reading list for anyone interested in learning more about George Washington, his contemporaries, and the drama of the revolutionary founding of the United States of America.

The 2017 George Washington Prize finalists are:

● T.H. Breen, George Washington’s Journey: The President Forges a New Nation (Simon and Schuster)

● Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf, “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (Liveright Publishing)

● Jane Kamensky, A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley (W.W. Norton)

● Michael J. Klarman, The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution(Oxford University Press)

● Mark Edward Lender and Garry Wheeler Stone, Fatal Sunday: George Washington, the Monmouth Campaign, and the Politics of Battle (University of Oklahoma Press)

● Nathaniel Philbrick, Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution (Viking) 

● Alan Taylor, American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 (W.W. Norton)

A distinguished jury comprised of notable historians David Preston, Kathleen DuVal, and Nick Bunker, selected the finalists from a field of nearly 60 books. The winner of the 2017 prize will be announced, and all finalists recognized, at a black-tie gala on Thursday, May 25 at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. More information about the George Washington Prize is available at washcoll.edu/gwbookprize.

*The Bible Cause* Selected as Church History Book of the Year at Jesus Creed Blog

Bible Cause CoverScot McKnight, the proprietor and author of the Jesus Creed blog, has chosen The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society as his church history book of the year. Needless to say, I couldn’t be more happy and honored!   This means a lot since McKnight and Jesus Creed was one of my inspirations for entering the blogosphere back in 2008.

Here are Scot’s kind words about The Bible Cause:

Enter the Bible, and in particular, the American Bible Society, and it should not take long to see in the picture to the right an open Bible in one hand and American flag in the other. A recent and exceptional book by Messiah College historian, John Fea, called The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society, tells this story through one institution — the American Bible society — but in so doing Fea demonstrates the constant intersection of Bible and nation building. I recommend this book for all churches and for all schools, colleges and universities. The impact of the ABS is of magnitudes and often enough totally unknown. Fea is an exceptional historian of the church in America. His expertise in connecting ABS to American church history is all over this book. Those who read the New Testament in Greek or the Old Testament in Hebrew or the Septuagint in Greek read from an ABS or United Bible Societies produced edition. Many of the most important tools used in Bible studies today were produced by or in cooperation with the ABS. Every major translation of the Bible today translates the Hebrew and Greek texts produced in conjunction with ABS and UBS. This alone justifies the importance of knowing the story told by Fea.

Thanks, Scot.

 

American Historical Association Announces Prize Winners

border-lawHere are some of the winners that might be of interest to readers of The Way of Improvement Leads Home.

The Albert J. Beveridge Award on the history of the United States, Latin America, or Canada, from 1492 to the present: Ann Twinam (Univ. of Texas at Austin) for Purchasing Whiteness: Pardos, Mulattos, and the Quest for Social Mobility in the Spanish Indies (Stanford Univ. Press, 2015)

The Waldo G. Leland Prize offered every five years for the most outstanding reference tool in the field of history: Father Peter J. Powell (Newberry Library), editor, for In Sun’s Likeness and Power: Cheyenne Accounts of Shield and Tipi Heraldry, 2 vols., by James Mooney (Univ. of Nebraska Press, 2013)

The Littleton-Griswold Prize in US law and society, broadly defined: Deborah A. Rosen (Lafayette Coll.) for Border Law: The First Seminole War and American Nationhood (Harvard Univ. Press, 2015)

The James A. Rawley Prize for the integration of Atlantic worlds before the 20th century: Tamar Herzog (Harvard Univ.) for Frontiers of Possession: Spain and Portugal in Europe and the Americas (Harvard Univ. Press, 2015)

The James Harvey Robinson Prize for the teaching aid that has made the most outstanding contribution to the teaching and learning of history in any field for public or educational purposes: Julie Golia and Robin M. Katz (Brooklyn Historical Society) for TeachArchives.org

The Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History to a freely available new media project: Charles Hardy III and Janneken Smucker (West Chester Univ.) and Doug Boyd (Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Univ. of Kentucky Libraries) for Goin’ North: Stories from the First Great Migration to Philadelphia

The Beveridge Family Teaching Prize for distinguished K–12 history teaching: Craig Blackman, on behalf of Indian River High School, Chesapeake, VA

The Herbert Feis Award for distinguished contributions to public history: Yolanda Chávez Leyva (Univ. of Texas at El Paso)

The Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award for teachers of history who taught, guided, and inspired their students in a way that changed their lives: Neal Shultz (The Campus School of the New Rochelle School District)

The Award for Scholarly Distinction to senior historians for lifetime achievement: Alice Kessler-Harris (Columbia Univ.) and Colin A. Palmer (Princeton Univ.)

All the winners are listed here.

Flora Fraser Wins George Washington Book Prize

FloraHere is the press release:

Flora Fraser, whose book The Washingtons offers a rare and comprehensive view of Martha Washington and the relationship between the nation’s inaugural first couple, wins the $50,000 George Washington Prize.

A noted biographer whose work has focused on the women behind the great men of history has won the 2016 George Washington Prize. Flora Fraser earned the $50,000 prize for her book The Washingtons: George and Martha, “Join’d by Friendship, Crown’d by Love.”

The award, which is one of the nation’s largest literary prizes, honors the best new works on the nation’s founding era, especially those that engage a broad public audience. Conferred by Washington College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon, it was presented to Fraser on May 25 at a black-tie gala at the Mount Vernon estate.

“I feel greatly the honor that has been accorded The Washingtons,” Fraser said. “George and Martha’s marriage was an inspiring partnership to chart. The George Washington Prize, fruit of another partnership among three distinguished homes of learning, Washington College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon, is an accolade which I shall long treasure.”

Published in 2015 by Alfred A. Knopf, The Washingtons has drawn widespread praise from scholars and critics. While many books have chronicled George Washington’s life and public service, no other has so thoroughly examined the marriage bonds between him and his wife. Few primary sources exist on the life of Martha Washington, who destroyed all but one of the couple’s personal letters. But Fraser’s diligent research has resulted in a more comprehensive understanding of the nation’s first First Lady—and through her important story, a fuller sense of the nation’s first President. Fraser portrays a couple devoted to each other and steadfast in their loyalty: from their short courtship, through raising a family at Mount Vernon, to the long years of the Revolutionary War, to the first U.S. Presidency, and to retirement at their beloved Virginia plantation.

“Flora Fraser’s book The Washingtons opens a whole new vista on Martha and George Washington’s married life,” said James Basker, president of the Gilder Lehrman Institute. “Through Fraser’s stylish prose, this iconic couple becomes more human and accessible. The result is a wonderful read.”

Fraser, who lives in London, is also the author of Beloved Emma: The Life of Emma, Lady Hamilton; The Unruly Queen: The Life of Queen Caroline; Princesses: The Six Daughters of George III; and Pauline Bonaparte: Venus of Empire. She chairs the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography, which she established in 2003 in memory of her grandmother, a historian and author of many noted British biographies; her mother is the noted biographer Lady Antonia Fraser.

The Mount Vernon event also honored six finalists for the 2016 George Washington Prize: Mary Sarah Bilder for Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention (Harvard), Kathleen DuVal for Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution (Random House), Robert Middlekauff for Washington’s Revolution: The Making of America’s First Leader (Knopf), Janet Polasky for Revolutions Without Borders: The Call to Liberty in the Atlantic World (Yale), David Preston for Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution (Oxford), and John Sedgwick for War of Two: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Duel That Stunned the Nation (Penguin).

Established in 2005, the George Washington Prize has honored a dozen leading writers on the Revolutionary era including, last year, Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the hit musical Hamilton. Publishers in the United States and the United Kingdom submitted more than 60 books for the 2016 award.

Learn more about the George Washington Prize at washcoll.edu/gwbookprize.

Who Won Awards at #oah2016?

83502-oahProcess blog has it covered.  Here is a taste are a few of the award winners that got our attention here at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

Frederick Jackson Turner Award for the author of a first scholarly book dealing with some aspect of American history: Mark G. Hanna, University of California, San Diego for Pirate Nests and the Rise of the British Empire, 1570–1740 (University of North Carolina Press).

Richard W. Leopold Prize for the best book on foreign policy, military affairs, historical activities of the federal government, documentary histories, or biography written by a U.S. government historical or federal contract historian: Jacqueline E. Whitt, Air War College for Bringing God to Men: American Military Chaplains and the Vietnam War (University of North Carolina Press).

Avery O. Craven Award for the most original book on the coming of the Civil War, and Civil War years, or the Era of Reconstruction, with the exception of works of purely military history: Martha Hodes, New York University for Mourning Lincoln (Yale University Press).

James A. Rawley Prize for the best book with the history of race relations in the United States: Margaret Ellen Newell, Ohio State University for Brethren by Nature: New England Indians, Colonists, and the Origins of American Slavery (Cornell University Press).

Ellis W. Hawley Prize for the best book-length historical study of the political economy, politics, or institutions of the United States, in its domestic or international affairs, from the Civil War to the present: Gary Gerstle, University of Cambridge for Liberty and Coercion: The Paradox of American Government from the Founding to the Present (Princeton University Press).

David Montgomery Award for the best book on a topic in American labor and working-class history, with cosponsorship by the Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA): Elizabeth Fones-Wolf and Ken Fones-Wolf, West Virginia University for Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar South: White Evangelical Protestants and Operation Dixie (University of Illinois Press).

Mary Jurich Nickliss Prize in U.S. Women’s and/or Gender History for the most original book in U.S. women’s and/or gender history: Cassandra Alexis Good, University of Mary Washington for Founding Friendships: Friendships between Men and Women in the Early American Republic (Oxford University Press).

Lerner-Scott Prize for the best doctoral dissertation in U.S. women’s history: Susan Hanket Brandt, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, “Gifted Women and Skilled Practitioners: Gender and Healing Authority in the Delaware Valley, 1740–1830.”

Mary K. Bonsteel Tachau Teacher of the Year Award for contributions made by precollegiate teachers to improve history education within the field of American history: Susan Miller, Middlesborough High School, Massachusetts.

*Mourning Lincoln* Wins the Gilder-Lehrman Lincoln Prize

0f5cb-mourninglincolnCongratulations to Martha Hodes.  You can read our Author’s Corner interview with her here.

Here is the announcement published at The New York Times:

Mourning Lincoln,” the historian Martha Hodes’s account of how ordinary Americans lamented (or celebrated) the assassination of the Great Emancipator, has won the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, which is awarded annually by Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The prize, for “the finest scholarly work in English on Abraham Lincoln, carries a $50,000 cash award.

In the book, which was published by Yale University Press, Ms. Hodes drew on diaries, letters and other writings by ordinary citizens — black and white, Northern and Southern — from the spring and summer of 1865. The prize jury called it “a stunning and enlightening work that underscores the rage that Lincoln’s assassination fueled, the outpouring of grief that resulted, and how the anger and confusion that boiled across the country that summer influenced the failures of Reconstruction.”

Ms. Hodes, a professor at New York University, said in a statement that the “irreconcilable visions” beyond differing responses to the assassination continue to echo in our own time.

“Black freedom, the fate of former Confederates, and the future of the nation were at stake for all Americans, whether they grieved or rejoiced when they heard the news,” she said. “Because the meaning of the Civil War remains unresolved, we continue to ponder Lincoln’s legacies into the 21st century.”

2016 George Washington Book Prize Finalists Announced

FInalists

With 2012 GW Book Prize Finalists at Mount Vernon, Ben Irvin and Maya Jasanoff

When my Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction was chosen as a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize in 2012, there were only three books that made the cut.  This year there are seven finalists.  And it is a very impressive group.

Here is the press release:

Chestertown, MD—To mark the holiday celebrating the country’s first president, Washington College today announced seven finalists for the prestigious George Washington Prize. The annual award recognizes the past year’s best written works on the nation’s founding era, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of early American history.

Created in 2005 by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and Washington College, the $50,000 George Washington Prize is one of the nation’s largest and most notable literary awards. Past recipients have included Pulitzer Prize-wining historian Annette Gordon-Reed and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda.

This year’s finalists represent both the depth of new scholarship and the broad expanse of inquiry into the diversity of people and the political, geographic, economic, and social forces that shaped the American Revolution and the early republic. The books, written to engage a wide public audience, provide a “go-to” reading list for anyone interested in learning more about George Washington and his times.

With superb narrative skill, the authors immerse readers into domestic life at Mount Vernon, a bloody battle on the banks of the Monongahela River, bustling multi-ethnic settlements along the Gulf Coast, onboard ships with revolutionaries crisscrossing the Atlantic world, a depleted encampment at Valley Forge, a contentious convention in Philadelphia in 1787, and the Weehawken dueling grounds at dawn. These were places where well and little known stories of our nation’s past unfolded, revolutionary leaders were forged, and the ideas of liberty, democracy, and republicanism were tested.

The 2016 George Washington Prize finalists are:

* Mary Sarah Bilder, Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention (Harvard University Press)

* Kathleen DuVal, Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution (Random House)

* Flora Fraser, The Washingtons: George and Martha, “Join’d by Friendship, Crown’d by Love” (Knopf)

* Robert Middlekauff, Washington’s Revolution: The Making of America’s First Leader (Knopf)

* Janet Polasky, Revolutions Without Borders: The Call to Liberty in the Atlantic World (Yale University Press)

* David Preston, Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution (Oxford University Press)

* John Sedgwick, War of Two: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Duel that Stunned the Nation (Penguin)

Distinguished historians and writers Sean Wilentz, Libby O’Connell, and James Kirby Martin served as independent jurors who selected the finalists from a field of nearly 60 books published in the past year. The winner of the 2016 prize will be announced at a black-tie gala on Wednesday, May 25 at George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

More information about the George Washington Prize is available at washcoll.edu/gwbookprize. For more information about the finalists or to arrange interviews, please contact Washington College Director of Media Relations Wendy M. Clarke, (wclarke2@washcoll.edu 410.810.7431) or George Washington Prize Coordinator Jean Wortman (jwortman2@washcoll.edu 410-810-7165).

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHIES

MARY SARAH BILDER is Professor of Law and Michael and Helen Lee Distinguished Scholar at Boston College Law School. Her work focuses on the history of the Constitution, the history of judicial review, and colonial and founding era constitutionalism.

KATHLEEN DUVAL is a professor in the History Department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Author of The Native Ground: Indians and Colonists in the Heart of the Continent, DuVal has also published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and William and Mary Quarterly.

FLORA FRASER is author of Beloved Emma: The Life of Emma, Lady Hamilton; The Unruly Queen: The Life of Queen Caroline; Princesses: The Six Daughters of George III; and Pauline Bonaparte: Venus of Empire. Fraser is chair of the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography. She lives in London.

ROBERT MIDDLEKAUFF is Preston Hotchkis Professor of American History, Emeritus, at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include The Mathers: Three Generations of Puritan Intellectuals, 1596-1728, which won the Bancroft Prize; The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Benjamin Franklin and His Enemies.

JANET POLASKY is Presidential Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire. She is the author of the prize-winning Revolution in Brussels, 1787-1793; The Democratic Socialism of Emile Vandervelde: Between Reform and Revolution; and Reforming Urban Labor: Routes to the City, Roots in the Country.

DAVID PRESTON is an award-winning historian of early America, and Professor of History at The Citadel. He is the author of The Texture of Contact: European and Indian Settler Communities on the Frontiers of Iroquoia, 1667-1783, which received the 2010 Albert B. Corey Prize.

JOHN SEDGWICK has been a journalist, novelist, memoirist and a biographer, publishing twelve books altogether. He is best known for his best-selling six-generation family memoir, In My Blood, and his acclaimed psychological novel, The Dark House. He has been a regular at Newsweek, GQ, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, among many other publications.

ABOUT THE SPONSORS OF THE GEORGE WASHINGTON PRIZE

Washington College was founded in 1782, the first institution of higher learning established in the new republic. George Washington was not only a principal donor to the college, but also a member of its original governing board. He received an honorary degree from the college in June 1789, two months after assuming the presidency. The college’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, which administers the Washington Prize, is an innovative center for the study of history, culture, and politics, and fosters excellence in the art of written history through fellowships, prizes, and student programs. For more information: http://www.washcoll.edu.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit devoted to the teaching and learning of American history. Gilder Lehrman draws on top scholars, an unparalleled collection of original historical documents, and a national network of more than 8,000 Affiliate Schools to create and provide a broad range of innovative resources to help teachers, students, scholars, and the general public learn about American history in a way that is engaging and memorable. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Organization of American Historians. For more information: http://www.gilderlehrman.org.

With its latest initiative, The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, George Washington’s Mount Vernon affirms its status as the preeminent center of learning about Washington, his life, character of leadership, and legacy. In addition to safeguarding original books and manuscripts, the Library serves as a center for leadership inspired by Washington’s extraordinary example. Mount Vernon is owned and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, America’s oldest national preservation organization, founded in 1853. For more information: http://www.mountvernon.org.

Congratulations 2015 AHA Prize Winners

At its recent meeting in Atlanta the American Historical Association announced its annual prize winners.  Here are a few of the prize-winners that might be relevant to readers of The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

Albert J. Beveridge Award on the history of the United States, Latin America or Canada from 1492 to the present:

Elizabeth Fenn, (University of Colorado-Boulder), Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People (Hill & Wang, 2014).

Greg Grandin (New York Univ.), The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World (Metropolitan Books, 2014)

The Raymond J. Cunningham Prize for the best article published in a history department journal written by an undergraduate student:

Michael Welker (Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, BA 2014), Faculty Sponsor: James L. Leloudis (Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), “Nothing without a Demand: Black Power and Student Activism on North Carolina College Campuses, 1967–1973,” Traces: The UNC-Chapel Hill Journal of History (Spring 2014)

The John H. Dunning Prize offered biennially in US history:

Kate Brown (Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County), Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (Oxford Univ. Press, 2013)

The Morris D. Forkosch Prize in the field of British, British Imperial, or British Commonwealth history since 1485:

Gregory E. O’Malley (Univ. of California, Santa Cruz), Final Passages: The Intercolonial Slave Trade of British America, 1619–1807 ((Univ. of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 2014) SEE OUR INTERVIEW WITH GREGORY

The William and Edwyna Gilbert Award for the best article on teaching history:

Peter Burkholder (Fairleigh Dickinson Univ.), “A Content Means to a Critical Thinking End: Group Quizzing in History Surveys,” The History Teacher 47, no. 4 (August 2014): 551–78

The J. Franklin Jameson Award offered biennially for the editing of primary sources:

Emily Levine (independent scholar), Witness: A Húŋkpapȟa Historian’s Strong-Heart Song of the Lakotas (Univ. of Nebraska Press, 2013)

The Friedrich Katz Prize in Latin American and Caribbean history:

Ada Ferrer (New York Univ.), Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2014)

The Littleton-Griswold Prize in US law and society, broadly defined:

Cornelia H. Dayton (Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs) and Sharon V. Salinger (Univ. of California, Irvine), Robert Love’s Warnings: Searching for Strangers in Colonial Boston (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2014)

The John E. O’Connor Film Award for outstanding interpretations of history through film Dramatic Feature:

12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen, director; Brad Pitt, producer (Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2013)

The John E. O’Connor Film Award for outstanding interpretations of history through film Documentary:

The Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels, Tony Buba, director; Marcus Rediker, producer (Univ. of Pittsburgh, 2014)

The James A. Rawley Prize for the integration of Atlantic worlds before the 20th century:

Ada Ferrer (New York Univ.), Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2014)

Gregory E. O’Malley (Univ. of California, Santa Cruz), Final Passages: The Intercolonial Slave Trade of British America, 1619–1807 (Univ. of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 2014)

The Dorothy Rosenberg Prize in the history of the Jewish diaspora:

Libby Garland (Kingsborough Community Coll., City Univ. of New York), After They Closed the Gates: Jewish Illegal Immigration to the United States, 1921–1965 (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2014)

The Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History to a freely available new media project

The First Days Project, South Asian American Digital Archive

The Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award for outstanding postsecondary history teaching:

Kimberley Mangun (Univ. of Utah)

The Beveridge Family Teaching Prize for distinguished K–12 history teaching

Kevin A. Wagner (Carlisle Area School District, Carlisle, PA)  MESSIAH COLLEGE HISTORY GRADUATE!

The Herbert Feis Award for distinguished contributions to public history:

Pamela M. Henson (Smithsonian Institution Archives)

The Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award for teachers of history who taught, guided, and inspired their students in a way that changed their lives:

Brian Balogh (Univ. of Virginia)

The Award for Scholarly Distinction to senior historians for lifetime achievement:

Ira Berlin (Univ. of Maryland, College Park)

Asuncion Lavrin (Arizona State Univ.)