AHA Awards For Scholarly Distinction
In 1984 the Council of the American Historical Association established a new award entitled the American Historical Association Award for Scholarly Distinction.
Each year a nominating jury, composed of the president, president-elect, and immediate past president, recommends to the Council of the Association up to three names for the award. Nominees are senior historians of the highest distinction in the historical profession who have spent the bulk of their professional careers in the United States. Previous awards have gone to Nettie Lee Benson, Woodrow Borah, Alfred D. Chandler Jr., Angie Debo, Helen G. Edmonds, Felix Gilbert, John Whitney Hall, Tulio Halperín-Donghi, H. Stuart Hughes, Margaret Atwood Judson, Nikkie R. Keddie, George F. Kennan, Paul Oskar Kristeller, Gerhart B. Ladner, Gerda Lerner, Ramsay MacMullen, Ernest R. May, Arno J. Mayer, August Meier, Edmund Morgan, George L. Mosse, Robert O. Paxton, Earl Pomeroy, H. Leon Prather Sr., Benjamin Quarles, Edwin O. Reischauer, Robert V. Remini, Nicholas V. Riasanovsky, Caroline Robbins, Carl E. Schorske, Benjamin I. Schwartz, Kenneth M. Setton, Kenneth M. Stampp, Chester G. Starr, Barbara and Stanley Stein, Lawrence Stone, Sylvia L. Thrupp Strayer, Merze Tate, Emma Lou Thornbrough, Brian Tierney, Eugen Weber, Gerhard Weinberg, and George R. Woolfolk.
Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, who graduated from Vassar in 1945 and got a PhD from Radcliffe in 1953, has labored excellently for more than forty years in the historian’s craft to achieve an international eminence that we justly recognize now in the Award for Scholarly Distinction.
Eisenstein’s teaching career was divided almost equally between the American University (1959 to 1974) and the University of Michigan (1975 to 1988) where she succeeded Sylvia Thrupp in the Alice Freeman Palmer Chair of History. Anyone who has had any sort of intellectual exchange with this imaginative, lively, and learned historian can imagine the benefits her students must have derived over those years.
In her doctoral dissertation, published in 1959 by Harvard University Press as The First Professional Revolutionist: Filippo Michele Buonarroti, 1761-1837, Eisenstein identified, with psychological insight and a critical eye, a historical type-the professional revolutionary-and its first exemplar.
After her first article, “Who Intervened in 1788?” (AHR, 1965), which inspired an AHA symposium two years later, came a series of articles that presaged the publication of the two-volume study, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change: Communications and Cultural Transformations in Early Modern Europe, by Cambridge University Press in 1979. This classic, in which Eisenstein discussed the role of printing and print culture in the formation of modernity, became the inevitable starting point for subsequent writing on this subject. The enormous scope of the book-the impact of the sudden multiplication of books and pamphlets upon the whole range of human activities-and the brilliance of its arguments explain its ubiquitous and persistent influence. In her 1992 book, Grub Street Abroad: Aspects of the French Cosmopolitan Press from the Age of Louis XIV to the French Revolution (Clarendon Press, 1992), Eisenstein extended her arguments further to trace how the growth of Francophone printing houses outside of France facilitated the propagation of the French Enlightenment.
The continuing significance of Eisenstein’s work is denoted both by the increasing number of translations of The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 1993), (the abridged version of the two-volume study) as well as the frequency of discussion-in print and on the Internet-of her work. She is truly a distinguished scholar.
For half a century, John Higham, the John Martin Vincent Professor Emeritus at Johns Hopkins University and a former president of the Organization of American Historians (1973-74), has been a pathbreaking scholar of American culture and a leading critical voice in the discipline. Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860-1925 (Rutgers University Press, 1955), his first book, and the first comprehensive study of nativism in the United States, remains the classic work on the topic. It marked Higham’s interest in ethnic and race relations, topics he pursued in a series of essays and books, the most recent which is Hanging Together: Unity and Diversity in American Culture (Yale University Press, 2001). Throughout, he has maintained a commitment to a pluralistic, assimilationist national culture, while remaining attentive to new and opposing points of view. His work in American intellectual history has been equally important. In an early work From Boundlessness to Consolidation: The Transformation of American Culture, 1848-1860 (Clements Library, 1969), and in essays collected in Writing American History: Essays on Modern Scholarship (Indiana University Press, 1970), he located major turning points in American culture that have shaped our understanding of the course of modern American history.
Higham’s efforts to discern where historical scholarship had been and where it should go helped set the compass for American historiography, first in an essay on consensus historiography (1962) that called into question the direction of postwar American historiography. During the 1970s, when American intellectual historians were being challenged by the new social history, he led an effort to reassess and revive the field. In writing the Americanist side of History, Professional Scholarship in America (Prentice Hall, 1965; reprint, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983, 1989), he established frameworks of analysis that continue to influence our thinking about the historical profession, as well as other academic disciplines. Finally, as a commentator and reviewer of books, roles he frequently takes, Higham has shown a remarkable ability to focus on the strengths of the work at hand and yet to convey its limitations, without impugning the author. In all these capacities, he has brought deep thoughtfulness and breadth of vision to a lifetime of distinguished historical work.
During more than half a century as a professional historian, Richard P. McCormick, currently professor emeritus at Rutgers University, established a stellar reputation at both the national and local levels. Nationally, he achieved recognition as a distinguished scholar of antebellum American political history. Few books of the 1960s have lasted as long or had more impact than his pathbreaking work, The Second American Party System: Party Formation in the Jacksonian Era (University of North Carolina Press, 1966). Through extensive acquisition of data and comparative analysis among American states, he pioneered the incorporation of voter behavior into the analysis of past politics, distinguished the second party system from its predecessors, and challenged the prevailing progressive interpretation of American political history. His compartmentalization of three distinct “party systems,” each with its own unique origins and attributes, revolutionized historians’ conceptualization of past American politics. He continued his study of national politics in The Presidential Game: The Origins of American Presidential Politics, published by Oxford University Press in 1982, the year he retired from Rutgers.
Despite his national reputation, McCormick (a Rutgers College BA, 1938 and University of Pennsylvania PhD, 1948) also remained committed to state and local history. In a number of major articles and two extensively researched and elegantly written books, Experiment in Independence: New Jersey in the Critical Period, 1781-1789 (Rutgers University Press, 1950); and New Jersey from Colony to State, 1609-1789 (Van Nostrand, 1964), McCormick showed the importance of the middle colonies and states, helping to provide a balance to the predominant historiographical focus on New England. In addition to several other books on Rutgers and New Jersey, he also wrote a definitive institutional history, Rutgers: A Bicentennial History (Rutgers University Press, 1966), a 200-year history of Rutgers embedded in a compelling social and policy analysis of the rise of higher education in America.
An eminent state and national historian, Richard P. McCormick is truly worthy of the American Historical Association’s Award of Scholarly Distinction.
Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award
Established in 1986, the Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award recognizes outstanding teaching and advocacy for history teaching at two-year, four-year, and graduate colleges and universities. The award is named for the late Eugene Asher, for many years a leading advocate for history teaching. The Society for History Education shares with the AHA sponsorship of the award. The award recognizes inspiring teachers whose techniques and mastery of subject matter made a lasting and substantial difference to students of history. Members of the Committee on Teaching Prizes are Sue Patrick, University of Wisconsin-Barron County, chair; Stacey Cordery, Monmouth College; Michele Forman, Middlebury Union High School, Vermont; Troy Johnson, California State University at Long Beach; and Barbara Winslow, Brooklyn College, City University of New York.
The 2002 honoree is Evelyn Edson, professor of history at Piedmont Virginia Community College. A lifelong learner, Professor Edson’s research interests stretch from medieval cartography to modern Ireland. Her distinguished career includes service on the National Council for the Humanities, Fulbright and NEH awards, and community outreach. After thirty years, she remains passionate about teaching history as a framework for the present. Professor Edson is both a student role model and the embodiment of the principles of the Asher Award.
Beveridge Family Teaching Prize
Established in 1995, this prize honors the Beveridge family’s longstanding commitment to the AHA and to K–12 teaching. Friends and family members endowed this award to recognize excellence and innovation in elementary, middle, and secondary school history teaching, including career contributions and specific initiatives. The honoree can be recognized either for individual excellence in teaching or for an innovative initiative applicable to the entire field. The prize is awarded by rotation: in even-numbered years to an individual and in odd-numbered years to a group. The prize was first offered in 1996, and in 2002 it is awarded to an individual teacher of history. Members of the Committee on Teaching Prizes are Sue Patrick, University of Wisconsin-Barron County, chair; Stacey Cordery, Monmouth College; Michele Forman, Middlebury Union High School, Vermont; Troy Johnson, California State University at Long Beach; and Barbara Winslow, Brooklyn College, City University of New York.
The seventh recipient of the Beveridge Family Teaching Prize is Kevin O’Reilly of Hamilton-Wenham High School in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Members of the prize committee note that Mr. O’Reilly has a wonderful passion for improving students’ thinking. He uses a combination of debates; roleplaying; in-depth analysis of written, visual, and musical sources; and simulations of past events. As a former student said in a letter of nomination, Mr. O’Reilly “is creative, active, innovative, and concerned” about students. The committee believes that Kevin O’Reilly epitomizes the excellence in K–12 teaching that the Beveridge Family Teaching Prize was established to recognize and applaud.
Gutenberg-E: Electronic Book Prizes
Gutenberg-e prizes are offered each year for the best history dissertations in specified fields. Thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the AHA offers these prizes in collaboration with Columbia University Press, which publishes in an electronic form the prizewinning manuscripts. Each prizewinner receives a $20,000 fellowship grant to meet the costs of revising the manuscript for publication. The competition for 2002 was for dissertations in the history of North America before 1900. The members of the selection committee for the 2002 competition were: Saul Cornell, Ohio State University; Paula Fass, University of California at Berkeley; Jane Kamensky, Brandeis University; Gary Kornblith, Oberlin College; James H. Merrell, Vassar College; and Paula Petrik, George Mason University.
John Rogers Haddad, University of Central Oklahoma
“‘The American Marco Polo’: Excursions to a Virtual China in U.S. Popular Culture, 1784–1912,” University of Texas at Austin, 2002
In fluid and accessible prose, Haddad covers a fascinating topic with great sweep and mastery. His analytically rich and methodologically complex dissertation attends to various appearances of Chinese culture in America throughout the long nineteenth century. Examining museums, material objects, and exhibited persons, Haddad rejects prevailing modes of Orientalism that posit a one-way traffic between Asia and the West in which imperialist domination eclipses cultural exchange. Instead, his focus on these “popular educational events,” to use his term, demonstrates that exhibitions of Chinese artifacts held great popular appeal, even as they were also sites at which Chinese gained the possibility to control their own representation in America. Haddad makes compelling use of freshly discovered visual evidence such as trade cards, printer catalogues and engravings, and the publication of his manuscript as an e-book will permit a dramatic presentation of the vivid imagery on which this study is based.
Willeen Keough, Memorial University of Newfoundland
“The Slender Thread: Irish Women on the Southern Avalon, 1750–1860,” Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2001
Through astonishing detective work in memoirs, newspapers, court and land records, among other sources, Keough reconstructs the world of early settlement in Canada’s maritime provinces and demonstrates, in painstaking detail, the importance of women to that experience. With passionate commitment, she excavates the hard-working lives of women and centers their role as community builders in fishing villages on the coast of the Southern Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland. Her work connects North American Colonial history to an entire historiography published in Canada and Ireland about which U.S. scholars know very little. In doing so, she makes a great contribution to colonial history, the history of the social division of labor, and to women’s history as well. Keough has written a massively researched and defining dissertation that is extraordinary in its attention to everyday lives. Electronic access to her findings and her data archive should inspire a wealth of research, teaching assignments, and other uses of this intriguing story of gender roles and the demographics of migration and settlement.
Dorothea McCullough, Archeological Survey, Indiana University-Purdue University
“‘By Cash and Eggs’: Gender in Washington County during Indiana’s Pioneer Period,” Indiana University, 2001.
Using court and church records systematically and with subtle insight, McCullough’s deeply researched dissertation makes a convincing and nuanced argument about the vital role of women during Indiana’s antebellum settlement period. As litigants, witnesses, guardians, executors of estates, and the majority in church memberships, women emerge in her study as contentious and willful historical actors who learned to use the courts to establish their rights to person, property and dignity. McCullough provides an important revision of the literature in gender and women’s history. She renews our understanding of how democracy was constituted, and its meaning for women in pioneer communities in the American midwest in the early nineteenth century. This is an excellent, solid piece of scholarship that deserves recognition as a thoughtful and well-written addition to the literature.
John E. O’Connor Film Award
In recognition of his exceptional role as a pioneer in both teaching and research regarding film and history, the American Historical Association has established this award in honor of John E. O’Connor, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University at Newark. The award seeks to recognize outstanding interpretations of history through the medium of film or video. Essential elements are stimulation of thought, imaginative use of the media, effective presentation of information and ideas, sensitivity to modern scholarship, and accuracy. The production should encourage viewers to ask questions about historical interpretations as well as make a contribution to the understanding of history. Members of the award committee are Mark C. Carnes, Barnard College, Columbia University, chair; Mary Jo Maynes, University of Minnesota; and Vanessa Schwartz, University of Southern California.
The recipient of the tenth O’Connor Film Award is The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It, produced and directed by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Tejada-Flores, produced by Paradigm Productions Inc. in association with the Independent Television Service with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It examines the experiences of several of the over 40,000 conscientious objectors who refused combat service during World War II. The film’s richness comes from its exploration of how the COs’ personal experiences shaped and were shaped by history. By delving into individual acts of saying “no,” The Good War also demonstrates how the COs’ experience was formative for their later political activism.
Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award
In recognition of her exceptional role as a teacher, scholar, and committed member of the historical profession, and on the occasion of her 75th birthday, friends, colleagues, and former students established the Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award to recognize and encourage mentoring in the historical profession. The special quality of mentorship is the human quality in teaching, revealed in commitment to the value of the study of history and the love of teaching it to students, regardless of age or career goals. It carries with it a personal commitment by the mentor to the student as a person. The award is operated on a three-year cycle: graduate, undergraduate, and precollegiate. The 2002 honor is awarded to an undergraduate mentor. Members of the award committee are Sharon Alter, William Rainey Harper College, chair; Gail Bederman, University of Notre Dame; Helen Grady; Springside School, Pennsylvania; David K. Smith, Eastern Illinois University; and Andrew Wiese, San Diego State University.
Steven Volk, Oberlin College, is the recipient of the eleventh annual Roelker Mentorship Award. Letters written in support of the nomination of Dr. Volk demonstrate not only the immediate impact he had on students in the classroom, but also the enduring relationships he has forged with many. He has taught, guided, and inspired his students in innumerable ways. His conviction in the power and relevance of history together with his teaching-learning strategies imbue his students with a love of history. Dr. Volkconcern for historical fact and reasonable argument actively engages his students to reassess assumptions and formulate new conclusions. As one of his students said in his letter of nomination, he is “the role model of what a thinking person can be.” Dr. Volk is also concerned with the whole humanity of his students. Generous with his time and involvement, he actively nurtures his professional relationship beyond the classroom. In the process, students remember his enduring impact on their lives.
Honorary Foreign Members
At its second annual meeting in Saratoga in 1885, the newly appointed Committee on Nominations for Honorary Membership adopted a resolution that appointed Leopold von Ranke as the first honorary foreign member of the Association. In the intervening 114 years, only 86 individuals have been so honored. Commencing in 1991, annual selections are made honoring foreign scholars who are distinguished in their fields of history and who notably aided the work of American historians. Currently, the AHA has 15 living honorary foreign members representing 10 countries.
The 2002 honorary foreign memberships are presented to the following scholars.
Boris Fausto has enjoyed a long and very distinguished career as historian of republican Brazil.
Fausto’s education began in the field of law, as he completed a law degree at the University of Sao Paulo in 1953. Although most of his career was spent as legal counsel at that University of Sao Paulo, he also took time to receive a PhD in history from the university in 1969.
His historical work began with a study of the Old Republic (1889-1930), followed by a very important book on the Revolution of 1930, A Revolução de 1930: Historiografia e História (1970). During the 1970s, U.S. graduate students working on Brazil relied on Boris’s early studies to understand that nation’s unusual political system.
Perhaps the greatest service Boris performed for the field was taking over editorship of the Historia Geral da Civilização Brasileira series, after Sérgio Buarque de Hollanda’s death, and overseeing (and writing parts of) the last four volumes (8–11). Not resting on this accomplishment, he also edited a multi-author study of immigration, Fazer a América: A Imigração em Massa para a América Latina (1999). In recognition of his knowledge and eminence, Cambridge University Press recently published his A Concise History of Brazil (1999) in English.
Boris has been an innovator in research methods, pioneering many new approaches to the field, many inspired by European colleagues, and he in turn has inspired numerous young scholars in Brazil and in the United States as well. His friends and colleagues throughout the hemisphere have invited him to serve as visiting professor at institutions like Oxford and Brown University. He has left a very deep and rich imprint on the historiographical knowledge of his country, at home and abroad. He has made great contributions to the discipline of history in Brazil and the study of Brazilian history, playing a central role in many key controversies.
In addition to his own scholarship, Fausto has offered his friendship and services to a huge number of U.S. students and scholars who showed up at his home on Rua Gaspar Moreira over the years, seeking advice, contacts, sources, inspiration, and sometimes just camaraderie.
Peter J. Marshall, emeritus professor of King’s College, London and until recently, president of the Royal Historical Society in London, is the most distinguished historian of the early modern British Empire of his generation.
Born on October 28, 1933, he studied history at Wadham College, Oxford, where he took his BA degree in 1957 and his DPhil in 1962. He spent his entire teaching career at King’s College, starting as an assistant lecturer in 1959, and rising to Rhodes Professor of Imperial History, a position he filled with enormous distinction from 1980 to 1993.
His published work is massive, varied, innovative, constantly developing, world wide in its range, and widely respected and acclaimed. His first book was The Impeachment of Warren Hastings (Oxford University Press, 1965), and remains the standard work on the subject. He followed with the classic studies, East Indian Fortunes: The British in Bengal in the Eighteenth Century (Clarendon Press, 1976) and The Great Map of Mankind: Perceptions of New Worlds in the Age of the Enlightenment (Dent, 1982). These are only the high points of a vast record of historical production for which Marshall has rightly received most of the honors and recognitions that British academe can bestow.
Throughout his career, Professor Marshall has reached out to other historians of the early modern British imperial world. As early as the late 1960s, he was routinely and warmly encouraging visiting research students and scholars from the United States and elsewhere to participate in his famous seminar in early modern imperial history. Similarly, as editor of the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History from 1975 to 1981 and, more recently, as editor of the eighteenth-century volume for the new Oxford History of the British Empire, he demonstrated his wide connections in the field by including contributions from scholars from the United States, Britain, Africa, India, and Canada.
Jack R. Pole, Rhodes Professor of American History, emeritus, in Oxford University and a Fellow of St Catherine’s College within that University, is arguably the most distinguished historian of the United States outside the United States.
His exceptional publishing and teaching career was marked by the breadth, power, and sweep of his scholarship. Beginning with his first book on colonial representation and political culture, Political Representation in England and the Origins of the American Republic (MacMillan/St. Martin’s Press, 1966; University of California Press, 1971), and continuing through his volume on The Pursuit of Equality in American History (University of California Press, 1978, 1993), Professor Pole has produced works that made a significant impact on the American historical agenda. Colonial British America: Essays in the New History of the Early Modern Era (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984), a collection of outstanding essays edited with Jack Greene, remains one of the most useful volumes in its field. Finally, one of Professor Pole’s articles deserves to be singled out for mention. “Historians and the Problem of Early American Democracy,” published in the American Historical Review in April 1962, introduced the conception of “deference” into the study of just how democratic colonial America was. It has enjoyed a much longer useful life than most articles, and has remained the definitive treatment of its subject down to the present.
For many years, Professor Pole has markedly assisted visiting American historians, particularly those who have held the annual Harmsworth Visiting Professorship at Oxford. He served on the Board of Electors which chooses the Harmsworth Visiting Professors and explained to them their duties as members of the Oxford Faculty of Modern History as well as countless other things they needed to know as visitors to an unfamiliar culture.
He has played a major role in helping to define his field of early American history, not just through his writings and participation in professional activities, but through a series of distinguished doctoral students, including a number of U.S. citizens.
2002 Book Awards
Herbert Baxter Adams Prize
Named for one of the Association’s founding members and its first secretary, this prize was established in 1903 for works in the history of the Eastern Hemisphere. It is offered annually for an author’s first substantial book, and the chronological coverage alternates between the early European period one year and the modern period the next. This evening it is being awarded for the ancient period up to 1815. Prize committee members are John Toews, University of Washington, chair; Thomas Brady, University of California at Berkeley; Suzanne Desan, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Michael Geyer, University of Chicago; and Derek Hirst, Washington University in St. Louis.
Florin Curta, University of Florida
The Making of the Slavs: History and Archaeology of the Lower Danube Region, c. 500–700, Cambridge University Press (2001)
This book presents a bold revisionist account of the genesis of Slavic ethnicity along the northern borderlands of the Justinian Empire during the sixth and seventh centuries. Combining sophisticated archaeological analysis of material culture with imaginative reading of Byzantine texts, Curta reconstructs both the Byzantine linguistic invention of Slavic identity and processes of group self-identification among the populations north of the Danube limes. The subtle application of ethnographic theory to complex bodies of evidence produces a convincing story of the historical construction of Slavic ethnicity that challenges previous scholarship and will certainly affect all future accounts of the formation of the Slavic peoples, and, more broadly, of the relations between eastern and western Europe into the modern period.
Prize in Atlantic History
The Prize in Atlantic History was created in 1998 in accordance with the terms of a gift from James A. Rawley, Carl Adolph Happold Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. It is offered annually to recognize outstanding historical writing that explores aspects of integration of Atlantic worlds before the twentieth century. Prize committee members are Linda Heywood, Howard University, chair; David Eltis, Queen’s University; and Jane Landers, Vanderbilt University.
Patricia Seed, Rice University
American Pentimento: The Invention of Indians and the Pursuit of Riches, University of Minnesota Press (2001)
This volume is a provocative study of the European intellectual traditions that informed the conquest, settlement, and transformation of the Americas from the fifteenth century onward. Demonstrating a familiarity with the histories of the major European colonizing powers and an impressive number of indigenous American societies, the author examines cross-Atlantic contact, cultural constructions, and exchange in the early modern period.
George Louis Beer Prize
Established by a bequest from Professor Beer, a historian of the British colonial system before 1765, this prize is offered annually in recognition of outstanding historical writing in European international history since 1895. Prize committee members are Kinley Brauer, University of Minnesota, chair; Thomas Borstelmann, Cornell University; Jonathan Sperber, University of Missouri at Columbia; Carl Strikwerda, University of Kansas; and Jay Winter, Yale University.
Matthew Connell, Columbia University
A Diplomatic Revolution: Algeria’s Fight for Independence and the Origins of the Post-Cold War Era, Oxford University Press (2002)
Matthew Connelly’s examination of the Algerian war for independence is a work of remarkably wide-ranging scholarship. Through an examination of the Algerians’ use of great power rivalries, international media, changing standards of human rights, new concepts of national sovereignty, and the application of the different sensibilities of international relations history, social science methodology, and cultural criticism to traditional multi-archival research on three continents, this study may well serve as a model for future studies in international history.
Albert J. Beveridge Award
This award was established in memory of Senator Beveridge of Indiana through a gift from his wife and donations from AHA members from his home state. It is awarded annually for the best English-language book on American history (United States, Canada, or Latin America) from 1492 to the present. Prize committee members are Robert Westbrook, University of Rochester, chair; W. Fitzhugh Brundage, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Gloria Main, University of Colorado at Boulder; Glenna Matthews, University of California at Berkeley; and Francisco Scarano, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Mary A. Renda, Mount Holyoke College
Taking Haiti: Military Occupation and the Culture of U.S. Imperialism, 1915–1940, University of North Carolina Press (2001)
In her vivid account of the often violent occupation of Haiti (1915-34) by United States Marines, Mary Renda brilliantly deciphers the cultural imprint of paternalistic imperialism on both the colonizers and the colonized, not only in Haiti but in the metropole. Drawing on a remarkably diverse range of sources, she offers an exceptional blend of rich conceptualization and engrossing particulars in exposing the mystifications, contradictions, nuances, and unintended consequences of this venture in American empire.
Paul Birdsall Prize
Hans Gatzke, Yale University, endowed this prize in 1986. It is named in honor of the late Paul Birdsall of Williams College, and is offered biennially for a major work on European military and strategic history since 1870. Committee members are William Hitchcock, Wellesley College, chair; Linda Frey, University of Montana; and James F. Tent, University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Matthew Connelly, Columbia University
A Diplomatic Revolution: Algeria’s Fight for Independence and the Origins of the Post-Cold War Era, Oxford University Press (2002)
This outstanding study, based on an impressive array of international sources, shows that the Algerian war of independence was far more than a colonial war, but a new kind of struggle, one waged on a global battlefield using communications and media, the institutions of the United Nations, an emerging international discourse about human rights, all tied together by an effective diplomatic strategy that exploited fractures in the Cold War order.
James Henry Breasted Prize
Established in 1985 by Joseph O. Losos, this prize is named in honor of James Henry Breasted, a pioneer in ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern history and president of the Association in 1928. It is offered annually for the best book in English in any field of history prior to A.D. 1000. Committee members are Alan Wood, University of Washington, chair; Rebecca Horn, University of Utah; Jacob Lassner, Northwestern University; and Thomas F. X. Noble, University of Notre Dame.
William V. Harris, Columbia University
Restraining Rage: The Ideology of Anger Control in Classical Antiquity, Harvard University Press (2001)
Restraining Rage is a masterful study of how one of the most basic human emotions-anger-was regarded in classical antiquity. This learned, elegant, fascinating, and wide-ranging work makes a major contribution to our understanding of Greek and Roman culture. Drawing from an astonishing array of sources, the author concludes that the leading figures of the ancient world sought to limit the damage unrestrained anger could inflict on both individuals and the community at large.
Albert Corey Prize
The Corey Prize is jointly sponsored by the AHA and the Canadian Historical Association and is awarded biennially to the best book dealing with the history of Canadian-American relations or the history of both countries. Committee members representing the AHA and the CHA are Robin Winks, Yale University, chair; Judith Fingard, Dalhousie University; Delphin Muise, Carleton University; and Shirley Yee, University of Washington.
Francis M. Carroll, University of Manitoba
A Good and Wise Measure: The Search for the Canadian-American Boundary, 1783–1842, University of Toronto Press (2001)
A Good and Wise Measure is a meticulous and thorough examination of the political dynamics and relationships between Great Britain and the United States that led to the creation of the Canadian-American border. Through compelling characterizations of the various personalities involved in the debates, Carroll traces the uneven and often contentious and dramatic process of negotiations between competing economic and military interests that would constitute Anglo-Canadian-American relations into the twentieth century.
John Edwin Fagg Prize
The Association will award the Fagg Prize for the best publication in the history of Spain, Portugal, or Latin America annually for a ten-year period beginning with the 2001 award. The award honors John E. Fagg, who taught Latin American history at New York University from 1945 to 1981, serving as chair of the history department from 1961 to 1969 and the director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies from 1961 to 1965 and 1977 to 1979. Prize committee members are Carolyn Boyd, University of California at Irvine, chair; Heath Dillard, Independent Scholar, and Allyson Poska, Mary Washington College.
Daryle Williams, University of Maryland at College Park
Culture Wars in Brazil: The First Vargas Regime, 1930–1945, Duke University Press (2001)
This innovative study analyzes the relationship between state building and cultural production during the first Vargas dictatorship. Williams examines the regime’s efforts at cultural management and the ensuing struggle between modernists and traditionalists seeking state imprimatur for their respective versions of brazilidade. His complex argument clearly shows how a modernist and exclusionary vision of Brazilian identity emerged from the interaction of the state, cultural elites, and the domestic and international audiences for cultural production.
John K. Fairbank Prize
Established in 1968 by friends of John K. Fairbank, the distinguished Harvard historian of Asian history, the prize is an annual award offered for an outstanding book in the history of China proper, Vietnam, Chinese Central Asia, Mongolia, Manchuria, Korea, or Japan since the year 1800. Prize committee members are James L. Hevia, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, chair; JaHyun Kim Haboush, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Jonathan Ocko, North Carolina State University; Miriam Silverberg, University of California at Los Angeles; and John E. Wills Jr., University of Southern California.
Julia Adeney Thomas, University of Notre Dame
Reconfiguring Modernity: Concepts of Nature in Japanese Political Ideology, University of California Press (2001)
In Julia Thomas’s elegantly written study, discourses on nature, the body, and the social realm provide critical entry points into understanding political debates in Japan over the last three centuries. She demonstrates that modernity is better understood as multiple transformations of the cosmopolis rather than as a trajectory away from nature. Her work effectively dismantles “the West’s” uniqueness, opens a space for the consideration of multiple modernities, and historicizes rhetoric on the intimate relationship between the Japanese and nature.
Herbert Feis Award
Established in 1982, this annual prize, named after Herbert Feis (1893-1972), public servant and historian of recent American foreign policy, is intended to recognize the recent work of public historians or independent scholars. Prize committee members are James M. Banner Jr., Washington, D.C., chair; Bruce Craig, National Coalition for History; John Grabowski, Case Western Reserve University; Richard Immerman, Temple University; and Susan Levine, University of Illinois at Chicago
Pamela C. Grundy, Independent Scholar
Learning to Win: Sports, Education, and Social Change in Twentieth-Century North Carolina, University of North Carolina Press (2001)
Impressively researched and gracefully written, Learning to Win is a splendid example of the historian’s craft. A work that spans a century’s time, it deftly situates sports history at the intersection of the broad dynamics of social change. Grundy’s analytical narrative illuminates the complex ways that economic development, political culture, race, and gender interact to create contemporary society. Its seemingly local story suggests why sports attract so many people throughout an entire nation.
Morris D. Forkosch Prize
The Association offers the Forkosch Prize annually in recognition of the best book in English in the field of British, British imperial, or British Commonwealth history since 1485. The prize alternates between an award for British imperial or Commonwealth history and an award for British history. For the 2002 competition, books on British history were eligible. Prize committee members are David Cressy, Ohio State University, chair; David Armitage, Columbia University; Jeffrey Auerbach, California State University at Northridge; Antoinette Burton, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and James K. Hopkins, Southern Methodist University.
Catherine Hall, University College London
Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination, 1830–1867, University of Chicago Press (2002)
Civilising Subjects does for Victorian Britain what no one has done so far: it demonstrates the interdependence of “home” and “empire” in the era of liberal reform. Hall refocuses our attention on religiosity and evangelism, arguing for their centrality to the English imagination and its postcolonial legacies. Her feminist readings illustrate the constitutive impact of race and gender together on imperial culture. Her emphasis on region and town as well as nation and empire makes this a model of imperial history in a genuinely transnational frame.
Leo Gershoy Award
Established in 1975 by a gift from Ida Gershoy in memory of her late husband, this annual prize is awarded to the author of the most outstanding work in English on any aspect of the field of 17th- and 18th-century western European history. Prize committee members are Randolph Head, University of California at Riverside, chair; Keith Luria, North Carolina State University; Sarah Maza, Northwestern University; John McCusker, Trinity University; and Leonard Rosenband, Utah State University.
David A. Bell, Johns Hopkins University
The Cult of the Nation in France: Inventing Nationalism, 1680–1800, Harvard University Press (2001)
Using a wide range of textual and visual sources, David Bell addresses how French rulers and political thinkers of the eighteenth century sought to build a unified nation. With notable elegance and clarity, Bell describes how Counter-Reformation techniques of propaganda, education, and coercion contributed to the construction of an “eternal” French nation that, paradoxically, needed to be built. Memory, national character, and linguistic uniformity all became part of a project whose consequences Bell traces down to the present.
Joan Kelly Memorial Prize
The Coordinating Committee on Women in the Historical Profession and the Conference Group on Women’s History (now the Coordinating Council for Women in History) established this annual prize in 1983. The prize is administered by the AHA. It is offered for the best work in women’s history and/or feminist theory. Prize committee members are Miriam Cohen, Vassar College, chair; Laura Frader, Northeastern University; Donna Guy, Ohio State University; and Cheryl Johnson-Odim, Columbia College.
Alice Kessler-Harris, Columbia University
In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America, Oxford University Press (2001)
Broad in scope and enriched by detailed research, In Pursuit of Equity addresses crucial issues regarding gender and the meaning of citizenship. Analyzing how gender norms influenced the making of the American welfare state, this tour-de-force covers a wide range of policies put into place during the 1930’s and 1940’s, including tax law. The author goes on to tell a complicated story of how the civil rights and feminist movements worked to expand women’s economic rights.
Established in 1985, this prize is offered annually for the best book in any subject on the history of American law and society. Committee members are Laura Edwards, Duke University, chair; Daniel Ernst, Georgetown University Law Center; Jack Rakove, Stanford University; James Schmidt, Northern Illinois University; and Amy Dru Stanley, University of Chicago.
Barbara Young Welke, University of Minnesota
Recasting American Liberty: Gender, Race, Law, and the Railroad Revolution, 1865–1920, Cambridge University Press (2001)
Gracefully written, deeply researched, and persuasively argued, Recasting American Liberty more than fulfills its ambitious title. Barbara Young Welke demonstrates how litigation connected to railroads fundamentally altered notions of “liberty,” both in law and social practice, as an ethic of manly independence ultimately gave way to one that cast everyone-men and women alike-as inherently vulnerable and dependent individuals needing protection by the state. Recasting American Liberty gives human face to legal and historical abstractions, focusing on the people who instigated change and revealing both the importance and unintended consequences of human agency in law, the state, the application of modern technology, and the substance of individual rights.
J. Russell Major Prize
The J.Russell Major Prize is an annual prize for the best work in English on any aspect of French history. It was established in memory of J. Russell Major, a distinguished scholar of French history who served on the history faculty at Emory University from 1949 until his retirement in 1990. Prize committee members are Carla Hesse, University of California at Berkeley, chair; Raymond Grew, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; and James Johnson, Boston University.
Robert Harms, Yale University
The Diligent: A Voyage Through the Worlds of the Slave Trade, Basic Books (2001)
The Diligent reconstructs the story of a French slaving ship from Vannes in the early 1730s-its voyage to the Guinea Coast, thence to Martinique, and back to Vannes. Each of the three worlds of the French slave trade is reconstructed in remarkable detail and with a masterful and intimate eye. The book excels in keeping the broad themes of the history of French slavery in play-moral, political, economic, and global. Harms’s own voice is direct, deeply humane, and fired by conviction, never intrusive but neither faceless. This book is a model of the highest professional standards and exhaustive knowledge turned toward a general readership.
Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize
Established in 1973, the Marraro Prize is offered annually for the best work in any epoch of Italian history, Italian cultural history, or Italian-American relations. Prize committee members are Silvana Patriarca, Fordham University, chair; Frederick J. McGuiness, Mount Holyoke College; and Charles Stinger, State University of New York at Buffalo.
Paul F. Grendler, emeritus, University of Toronto
The Universities of the Italian Renaissance, Johns Hopkins University Press (2002)
In this magisterial study, Paul Grendler shows how Italian universities emerged as key centers for Renaissance learning. Stimulated in their development by societal demand for educated professionals and enjoying vital support from the peninsula’s urban leaders, Italian universities flourished during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Reversing long-held scholarly assumptions, Grendler demonstrates that humanism helped promote curricular change, stimulating innovations in mathematics, law, and Aristotelian philosophy and introducing the medical renaissance that placed Italian universities at the forefront of European education until the end of the sixteenth century. Brilliantly researched, Grendler’s book enormously enriches our understanding of the Renaissance world.
George L. Mosse Prize
The Mosse Prize is awarded annually for an outstanding major work of extraordinary scholarly distinction, creativity, and originality in the intellectual and cultural history of Europe since the Renaissance. It was established with funds donated by former students, colleagues, and friends of Professor Mosse. Committee members are Robert Pois, University of Colorado at Boulder, chair; Mary Gibson, John Jay College, City University of New York; and Paul Robinson, Stanford University.
Anthony J. La Vopa, North Carolina State University
Fichte: The Self and the Calling of Philosophy, 1762–1799, Cambridge University Press (2001)
La Vopa’s book is a most original piece. In it, the author demonstrates how Johann Gottlieb Fichte was both an inheritor of Kantian Idealism, while passing beyond its dualism, and a philosopher who pointed the way to future, rather non-Idealistic, empirical and phenomenological concerns. In the course of this well-written work, La Vopa does not overlook Fichte’s at times vicious anti-Semitism and statism and, in fact, shows how these can be related to this philosophy as a whole. This is a fine work of intellectual history and, without question, will contribute much to our understanding of German Idealism in general and Johann Gottlieb Fichte in particular.
Premio del Rey Prize
Robert I. Burns S.J., endowed this prize to honor a distinguished book in English in the field of early Spanish history. The prize is awarded biennially and covers the medieval period in Spain’s history and culture, a.d. 500–1516. Committee members are Teofilo Ruiz, University of California at Los Angeles, chair; Thomas Burman, University of Tennessee at Knoxville; Olivia Constable, University of Notre Dame; Lu Ann Homza, College of William and Mary; and David Ringrose, University of California at San Diego.
Adam J. Kosto, Columbia University
Making Agreements in Medieval Catalonia: Power, Order, and the Written Word, 1000–1200, Cambridge University Press (2001)
Based upon exhaustive archival research, Adam J. Kosto’s Making Agreements in Medieval Catalonia rejects the notion of 1000 as a revolutionary year and challenges prevailing conceptual dichotomies-such as the perception of Catalonia as feudal or nonfeudal and the counterposting of oral vs. written culture or vernacular vs. Latin. By an insightful examination of the language of the convenientiae, Kosto masterfully describes the syncretic and ambiguous implications of these documents. His arguments are presented clearly and convincingly, as he mounts a successful attack on some central historiographical controversies. At the end, Kosto’s formidable archival skills, thorough research, and his skillful treatment of massive documentary evidence, makes this a book most worthy of this award.
James Harvey Robinson Prize
The Robinson Prize was established by the AHA Council in 1978 and is awarded biennially 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. Committee members are Marvin Lunenfeld, emeritus, State University of New York at Fredonia, chair; William Everdell, St. Ann’s School; Michael Kasprowicz, Morton College; James Loewen, Catholic University; and Colleen Seguin, Valparaiso University.
Edward L. Ayers, University of Virginia,
Anne S. Rubin, University of Maryland Baltimore County, and
William G. Thomas III, University of Virginia
The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War-The Eve of War. CD-ROM: W.W. Norton and Company (2000), Web site: Virginia Center for Digital History, University of Virginia
The authors of this magnificent CD-ROM and Web site offer searchable archivable materials to create diverse histories about ordinary people caught in uncommon circumstances. This is history as lived experience, presented in a usefully edited archive of primary sources. It is an absolutely outstanding, self-contained method for teaching introductory history students how research is done, how students can do it themselves, and why, as a result of this kind of intensive work, history remains relevant and fascinating.
The Wesley-Logan Prize in African Diaspora History is sponsored jointly by the AHA and the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASALH). It is awarded annually for an outstanding book on some aspect of the history of the dispersion, settlement, adjustment, and/or return of groups originally from Africa. Prize committee members representing the AHA and the ASALH are David Northrup, Boston College, chair; Walter B. Hill, National Archives and Records Administration; Larry Martin, Coppin State College; Philip Morgan, Johns Hopkins University; and Daryl Scott, University of Florida.
Julie Winch, University of Massachusetts at Boston
A Gentleman of Color: The Life of James Forten, Oxford University Press (2002)
Through research so painstaking it seems clearly a labor of love, Julie Winch has rescued from obscurity the life and legacy of Philadelphia sailmaker James Forten (1766–1842). Her beautifully written biography details Forten’s rise as an important businessman, fierce opponent of slavery, champion of education, and African American community leader. Her skillful reconstruction of this extraordinary life brings to light rich and often surprising facets of race, class, and culture in early America.