2013 William Thomas Okie (University of Georgia), “'Everything is Peaches Down in Georgia': Culture and Agriculture in the American South" (Cambridge University Press)

In this remarkable work, Okie, who earned his doctorate at the University of Georgia, takes what appears to be an everyday object (even a cliché), "the Georgia peach," and crafts a beautifully written, elegantly rendered tale that is full of surprises and of profound implications for our understanding of America's past. Ranging with deceptive ease across an impressive array of sources (popular songs and Peach Carnivals, business records and oral histories, horticultural society proceedings and USDA reports), he brings to light, and to life, a colorful, diverse, energetic, and sometimes eccentric cast of characters.