To Encourage Literary Distinction in the Writing of History and Biography

The 2023 Parkman, Historical Fiction, and Nevins Dissertation prize competitions are now closed. Winners will be announced here in mid-May.
And congratulations to the winners of our 2022 prizes:

The Tony Horwitz Prize to honor distinguished work in American history of wide appeal and enduring public significance is awarded to Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University.

The Francis Parkman Prize honoring literary merit in the writing of history is given to Nicole Eustace for her book Covered with Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America (Liveright). Eustace is Professor of History at New York University and the Director of the NYU Atlantic History Workshop.

The Allan Nevins Prize for the best-written doctoral dissertation on a significant topic in American history goes to Bench Ansfield for “Born in Flames: Arson, Racial Capitalism, and the Reinsuring of the Bronx in the Late Twentieth Century” (Yale University, under the direction of Joanne Meyerowitz and Michael Denning).

The full press release, along with the names of our newly elected members, can be found on our News page.

The Society of American Historians (SAH) was founded in 1939 by the journalist and Columbia University historian Allan Nevins and several fellow scholars to promote literary distinction in the writing of history and biography. Under a charter of incorporation issued by the State of New York, the society has continued to promote its original objective in a variety of ways: through the awarding of prizes, the promotion of historical studies and interests, and cooperation with publishers and other institutions engaged in furthering these aims.

The Society's membership includes more than 400 academic scholars, public historians, and professional writers working on topics in American history.  Members are elected based on achievement in the vivid and compelling presentation of history and biography in a variety of forms, including books, essays, film, drama, museum exhibitions, and other emerging forms of public communication. The Society recognizes excellence in historical work marked, among other qualities, by clarity, empathy, narrative power, accuracy, and explanatory force.