The Society of American Historians is delighted to announce three prizes honoring historical writing of exceptional literary merit. The Society, founded in 1939 by Allan Nevins, an American journalist and historian, encourages and promotes literary distinction in the writing and presentation of American history. The Society’s members – by invitation only – consist of scholars, independent historians, journalists, documentarians, filmmakers, essayists, novelists, biographers and poets.
April 30, 2020--We are delighted to announce that Megan Marshall has been elected president of the Society, succeeding Alice Kessler-Harris; Andrew Delbanco is our new vice president. They will assume office in June after the announcement of our 2020 prizes.
April 30, 2020--We are delighted to welcome the following scholars, independent writers, journalists, and public historians as newly elected Fellows of the Society of American Historians:
Carol Anderson Lewis Bateman Gordon Chang Ariela Gross Nikole Hannah-Jones Saidiya Hartman John Judis Ira Katznelson Ari Kelman Kevin Kruse Mae Ngai Valerie Paley Kimberly Phillips-Fein Susan Quinn Barbara Ransby David Roediger Richard Rothstein Richard Norton Smith Brent Staples
With heavy hearts we share the news of the death of Tony Horwitz, who died in Washington, DC, on May 27th. Tony was our president from 2016 to 2017. But for years, he lent his gifts as a historian to the SAH, bringing the Society the exuberance, warmth, curiosity and wit that transformed his own historical work into a high-stakes intellectual endeavor.
The 62nd annual Francis Parkman Prize is awarded to David W. Blight for Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (Simon & Schuster).
Blight has written a biography of a “radical patriot,” who was both a fierce critic of his country and an ardent proponent of its values. This sweeping biography of one of the most complex figures in American history seems destined to be a classic of the genre.
The 14th SAH Prize for Historical Fiction is awarded to Tommy Orange for There There (Alfred A. Knopf.)
There There is a riveting read from beginning to end. It begins with a meditation on the violence and expropriation at the heart of our national romance of expansion, and takes us into a more recent time when the occupation of Alcatraz Island by Native activists leads to events that culminate years later, at the Oakland Pow Wow.
Newly elected to the Executive Board for the term beginning 6 May are Jelani Cobb, Lynn Novick, T.J. Stiles, Jean Strouse, and Isabel Wilkerson.
Alice Kessler-Harris, R. Gordon Hoxie Professor Emerita of American History in Honor of Dwight D. Eisenhower at Columbia University, will take office as president at the end of the annual dinner, and Megan Marshall, biographer and Charles Wesley Emerson College Professor at Emerson College, will become vice president.
We are delighted to welcome the following newly elected members of the Society: