Herbert Baxter Adams Prize
The American Historical Association offers the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize annually for a distinguished book published in English in the field of European history. The Adams prize was established in 1905 in memory of the first secretary of the Association, Herbert Adams of Johns Hopkins University, who was also one of the Association’s founders. The Adams Prize and the Leo Gershoy Award (also bestowed by the AHA) are widely considered to be the most prestigious prizes in the field of European history. The prize is offered on a rotating basis: in even years for books on European history from ancient times to 1815; in odd years for books on European history from 1815 through the 20th century.
In 2017, books on European history from 1815 through the 20th century will be eligible for the competition. The general rules for submission are:
- Since the prize is designed especially to encourage scholars who have not yet obtained an established reputation, the entry must be the author's first substantial book. Textbooks in the strict sense of the word are not eligible, but a work of wide scope which interprets a major period or area would certainly qualify. Pamphlets, anthologies, edited works, and other small-scale efforts will not qualify.
- Books published in English bearing a copyright of 2015 or 2016 are eligible for the 2017 prize.
- The submission of an entry may be made by an author or by a third party as well as by a publisher. Publishers may submit as many entries as they wish.
- Nominators must complete an online prize submission form for each book submitted.
- One copy of each entry must be sent to each committee member and clearly labeled “Adams Prize Entry.” Print copies preferred unless otherwise indicated. If only e-copy is available, please contact review committee members beforehand to arrange submission format.
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.
Contact Information for Committee Members
Send one copy to each committee member and complete the prize submission form (above).
2016 Adams Prize
Vittoria Di Palma, Univ. of Southern California
Wasteland: A History (Yale Univ. Press)
This brilliantly conceived and elegantly written book draws on an array of disciplines to examine the neglected concept of wasteland since the early modern period. Understanding wasteland as a counterpart to wilderness and developed space, Di Palma sensitively depicts the tension between aesthetic responses to the landscape and the rationalizing pressures of advancing central state power and new survey techniques, set in the context of agricultural improvement and changing market relations.