In 1961, the Littleton-Griswold Fund Committee created the Littleton-Griswold Prize for studies in the legal history of the American colonies and of the United States prior to 1900. The prize was not awarded, however, until 1966, and was abolished the following year. In 1985, Council revived the prize as an annual award for the best book in any subject on the history of American law and society, broadly defined. The revived prize is administered by a joint committee of the American Historical Association and the American Society for Legal History.
The general rules for submission are:
- Only books of high scholarly and literary merit will be considered.
- Books with an imprint of 2014 will be eligible for consideration for the 2015 award.
- Nominators must complete the online Data Collection Form for each book submitted.
- One copy of each entry must be sent to each of the following committee members and clearly labeled “Littleton-Griswold Prize Entry.” Electronic copies may be sent only to committee members who have indicated they will accept them.
Please Note: Entries must be postmarked or transmitted by May 15, 2015, to be eligible for the 2015 competition. Entries will not be returned. Recipients will be announced at the January 2016 AHA annual meeting in Atlanta.
For questions, please contact the Prize Administrator.
The deadline for this year’s submissions has passed.
Contact information for the next prize year will be posted by March 31.
2013 Littleton-Griswold Prize
John Fabian Witt, Yale Univ. Law School
Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History (Free Press)
Lincoln’s Code skillfully mixes law and history to illuminate how the laws of war have shaped and been shaped by America’s wartime experiences from the Revolution through the Philippines insurrection. John Witt’s book is especially good at revealing the tensions at work between the sometimes competing demands of justice and military necessity. Deeply researched and artfully written, Lincoln’s Code paints a complex portrait of the past that speaks directly to the present.