Albert J. Beveridge Award Recipients
The Albert J. Beveridge Award is given annually for the best 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 a significant reinterpretation of an important historical problem are given preference in the awarding of this prize. The award was established on a biennial basis in 1939 and has been awarded annually since 1945.
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.