J. Russell Major Prize
The American Historical Association awards the J. Russell Major Prize annually for the best work in English on any aspect of French history. The prize was established in memory of J. Russell Major, the distinguished scholar of French history who died on December 12, 1998, at the age of 77. Major served on the history faculty at Emory University from 1949 until his retirement in 1990, and wrote 10 books, including Representative Government in Early Modern France and From Renaissance Monarchy to Absolute Monarchy: French Kings, Nobles and Estates. The general rules for submission are:
- Books with a copyright of 2016 are eligible for the 2017 award.
- 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 “Major 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 Major Prize
Ethan B. Katz, Univ. of Cincinnati
The Burdens of Brotherhood: Jews and Muslims from North Africa to France (Harvard Univ. Press)
Ethan Katz’s The Burdens of Brotherhood winds us through the tortured, but always complex relationships between French immigrant Jews and Muslims since the First World War. Sad, even haunting, this deeply researched work, while elucidating the forces that polarized, takes us into the daily communities where Jews and Muslims also lived together, played music and soccer together, shopped together, and sustained shared traditions from their common North African heritage. Imaginatively open to contingency as well as to the fissures of history, and commanding in its use of sources, Katz has given us a rich, often surprising portrait of the dynamics that sundered two immigrant peoples with reason to see themselves so much alike. It is a book of immediacy because of the power of its historical analysis.