John K. Fairbank Prize
The John K. Fairbank Prize in East Asian History is offered annually for an outstanding book in the history of China proper, Vietnam, Chinese Central Asia, Mongolia, Manchuria, Korea, or Japan, substantially after 1800. It honors the late John K. Fairbank, Francis Lee Higginson Professor of History and director of the East Asian Research Center at Harvard University, and president of the Association in 1968. Only books of high scholarly and literary merit will be considered. Anthologies, edited works, and pamphlets are ineligible for the competition. The general rules for submission are:
- Books with a copyright of 2016 will be eligible for the 2017 prize.
- 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 “Fairbank 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 Fairbank Prize
Barak Kushner, Univ. of Cambridge
Men to Devils, Devils to Men: Japanese War Crimes and Chinese Justice (Harvard Univ. Press)
In Men to Devils, Devils to Men, Barak Kushner analyzes the dismantling of Japan’s Asian empire and the prosecution of its agents left behind in lost territories at war’s end. The book breaks new ground in examining the history of Chinese trials of Japanese war criminals, revealing how such trials were used by both the Nationalists and Communists to claim postwar legitimacy and criticize US attempts to dominate the postwar political settlement. Kushner shows how internal political conflict shaped each country’s strategies concerning justice in the international arena. The book thus re-historicizes the memory of the Sino-Japanese War in the context of postwar Asia.