2013 Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard University
Prof. Ulrich has devoted her career to the cause of designing and delivering remedies of great efficacy for the nation’s afflictions of amnesia. Her best known work, A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard Based on her Diary (1990), offered an extraordinary performance in interweaving the life of an individual with the broader context of her society and times, and made a grand sweep through the prize committees of the profession, winning the Pulitzer Prize for History, the Bancroft Prize in American History, and many others. But every one of her books, including Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750 (1982); The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth (2001); and Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History (2007), stands as a model—equally supplied with inspiration and practicality, and always marked by felicity and lucidity of prose—for the enterprise of historical writing. By any measure of skill, and vitality, and achievement known to the historical profession, Prof. Ulrich ranks at the top.