Albert J. Beveridge Award
To promote and honor outstanding historical writing, the American Historical Association offers each year the Albert J. Beveridge Award in American History. The award was established on a biennial basis in 1939 and has been awarded annually since 1945. It honors US Senator Albert J. Beveridge (Indiana, 1899–1911), a longtime member of the Association and an active supporter of history as both a lawyer and a senator.
The Beveridge Fund was created by a gift of $50,000 from Mrs. Catherine Beveridge in honor of her husband in 1927. Mrs. Beveridge wrote to the AHA of her desire for “a separate fund bearing my husband’s name and devoted to research in American history.” The fund was augmented by donations from friends of Senator Beveridge and the scope of the award was enlarged to encompass Latin America and Canada as well as the United States.
The award is given for a distinguished book in English on the history of the United States, Latin America, or Canada, from 1492 to the present. Books that employ new methodological or conceptual tools or that constitute significant reexaminations of important interpretive problems will be given preference. Literary merit is also an important criterion. General rules for submission are:
- Biographies, monographs, and works of synthesis and interpretation are eligible; translations, anthologies, and collections of documents are not.
- Only books bearing a copyright of 2016 are eligible for the 2017 prize.
- Nominators must complete an online prize submission form for each book submitted.
- No more than five titles from any one publisher may be submitted.
- One copy of each entry must be sent to each committee member and clearly labeled “Beveridge Award Entry.” Electronic copies may be sent only to committee members who have indicated they will accept them.
Please Note: Entries must be received by May 15, 2017, to be eligible for the 2017 competition. Entries will not be returned. Recipients will be announced on the AHA website in October 2017 and recognized during a ceremony at the January 2018 AHA annual meeting in Washington, DC.
For questions, please contact the Prize Administrator.
The deadline for this year’s submissions has passed. Review committee contact information and the prize submission form for the next prize year will be posted by March 31.
2016 Beveridge Award
Ann Twinam, Univ. of Texas at Austin
Purchasing Whiteness: Pardos, Mulattos, and the Quest for Social Mobility in the Spanish Indies (Stanford Univ. Press)
In this impressive work, Twinam considers a subject that has long vexed historians of colonial Spanish America: the gracias al sacar, a royal decree that enabled mixed-race peoples to buy themselves a white identity and the privileges that went with it. Twinam’s work is an archival tour de force, resting on documents long considered next to impossible to find. It sheds new light on the complexities of race and caste in Latin America, the possibilities of social mobility within these hierarchical societies, and the multivalent ways that identity functioned in the daily interactions of colonial elites. Purchasing Whiteness will have a major impact on the way that scholars approach slavery and race within the Atlantic world.