J. Russell Major Prize Recipients
The J. Russell Major Prize was established in 2000 by Mrs. Blair Major, in memory of her husband, a distinguished scholar of French history who served on the history faculty at Emory University from 1949 until his retirement in 1990. The prize is awarded annually for the best work in English on any aspect of French history.
2015 Major Prize
Michael Kwass, Johns Hopkins Univ.
Contraband: Louis Mandrin and the Making of a Global Underground (Harvard Univ. Press)
Michael Kwass’s Contraband tells the gripping tale of an 18th-century gentleman smuggler, framed in the context of emerging global capitalism and the Old Regime French state’s brutal attempts to stamp out underground markets. Deeply researched and engagingly written, this fine book challenges readers to think over the long term about how porous borders have conflicted with state efforts to regulate consumer demand—a situation that engenders violence and may delegitimize the regime itself.