Publication Date

September 1, 2009

Perspectives Section


Editor’s Note: The purpose of this column, which is published in Perspectives on History as space permits, is to recognize and honor the accomplishments of AHA members. Submissions are welcome; entries will be published in alphabetical order.

James L. Coll (Nassau Comm. Coll./Suffolk Comm. Coll., NY) is an adjunct history professor and detective with the New York City Police Department. He was one of four detectives in the NYPD Emergency Services Unit that was honored by Mayor Michael Bloomberg for bravery when U.S. Airways Flight 1549 landed in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. Detective Coll was a first responder to the event, and he went into the freezing water and inside the plane to escort passengers to safety.

Drew Gilpin Faust (president, Harvard Univ.) received the New-York Historical Society’s fourth annual American History Book Prize for This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008). Faust received a $50,000 cash award, an engraved medal, and the title of American Historian Laureate at a ceremony on April 3, 2009. The purpose of the society’s prize is to encourage the general public to read works on American history. The prize is awarded to a non-fiction book on American history or biography that is distinguished by its scholarship, its literary style, and its appeal to both a general and an academic audience.This Republic of Suffering was selected from a field of 175 submissions by a prize committee comprised of historians and New-York Historical Society leadership. In its citation, the five-member stated, “This Republic of Suffering is an important work of history, one that illuminates brilliantly a difficult topic of universal interest. Faust, a highly-respected scholar, has brought a myriad of disparate facts and isolated quotations together into a coherent, beautiful, and finally moving narrative that presents a fresh perspective on a deeply serious topic, one that is as accessible to the general reader as it is to the professional historian.”

Mari A. Firkatian (Univ. of Hartford) published Diplomats and Dreamers: The Stancioff Family in Bulgarian History, with University Press of America in 2008. She is on a yearlong sabbatical working on revising the book and looking forward to the publication of its Bulgarian edition in 2009.

Rachel Fuchs (Arizona State Univ.) was awarded the Frances Richardson Keller-Sierra Prize by the Western Association of Women Historians on May 2, 2009, for her book, Contested Paternity: Constructing Families in Modern France. The book examines paternity and fatherhood in modern France through the lens of contested paternity. Fuchs’s research draws from archival judicial records on paternity suits, paternity denials, deprivation of paternity and adoption, from the end of the 18th century through the 20th century. Fuchs reveals how paternity was defined and how it functioned in the culture and experiences of individual men and women. The prize recognizes “the best monograph in the field of history published by a member” of the Western Association of Women Historians.

Annette Gordon-Reed (Rutgers Univ.-Newark and New York Law Sch.) has won the Pulitzer Prize for History for her book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. The book recounts the history of four generations of the Hemings family up to the 1826 death of Thomas Jefferson. The Pulitzer judges saidThe Hemingses of Monticello is a “painstaking exploration of a sprawling multi-generation slave family that casts provocative new light on the relationship between Sally Hemings and her master, Thomas Jefferson.” The book previously won the 2008 National Book Award for Nonfiction. The other finalists for the Pulitzer were This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust and The Liberal Hour: Washington and the Politics of Change in the 1960s by G. Calvin Mackenzie and member Robert Weisbrot (Colby Coll.).

James J. Lorence (Univ. of Wisconsin–Marathon County) has published The Unemployed People’s Movement: Leftists, Liberals, and Labor in Georgia, 1929–41 (Univ. of Georgia Press, 2009).

Wm. Roger Louis (Univ. of Texas at Austin), 2001 AHA president, was named University of Texas Professor of the Year by the Senate of College Councils, the student governance organization. The award recognizes faculty members at the university who have demonstrated outstanding teaching ability and a dedication to students that extends above and beyond the call of duty. See the related article on page 43 of the April 2009 Perspectives on History.

Margaret Lynch-Brennan (independent scholar) has published The Irish Bridget: Irish Immigrant Women in Domestic Service in America, 1840–1930, with a forward by Maureen O’Rourke Murphy (Syracuse Univ. Press, 2009).

Charles O’Brien (Western Illinois Univ., emeritus) published Deadly Quarrel(Severn House, July 2009), a historical mystery novel set in Britain, October 1789, against a background of West Country smuggling, women’s property rights, and spa life in Bath.

Bette W. Oliver, an independent scholar specializing in late 18th-century France, is the author ofOrphans on the Earth: Girondin Fugitives from the Terror, 1793–94 (Lexington Books, 2009). Drawing on the memoirs of Francois Buzot, Jerome Petion, Charles Barbaroux, and Jean-Baptiste Louvet, as well as the correspondence between Buzot and Madame Roland, this is the first book to examine the lives of the Girondin fugitives after their expulsion from the National Convention in the spring of 1793. By the summer of 1794, only Louvet had managed to survive the Terror. Oliver is also the author of From Royal to National: The Louvre Museum and the Bibliotheque Nationale (Lexington Books, 2007), as well as eight volumes of poetry.

Elizabeth Schmidt (Loyola Coll., Maryland) won the 2008 Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award for history for her 2005 book, Mobilizing the Masses: Gender, Ethnicity, and Class in the Nationalist Movement in Guinea, 1939–58. The competition included books published from 2005 to 2007 by faculty from 29 Jesuit colleges and universities. Her 2007 book,Cold War and Decolonization in Guinea, 1946–58, won the 2008 Best Book Award of the African Politics Conference Group, an affiliate of the African Studies Association, American Political Science Association, and International Studies Association.

Ingo Trauschweizer (Ohio Univ.) received the Society for Military History’s 2009 Distinguished Book (American) prize for his 2008 monograph The Cold War U.S. Army: Building Deterrence for Limited War (University of Kansas Press).

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) announced its fellowship recipients for 2009 in July. Among the winners were a number of AHA members. Congratulations to: Zayde Antrim (Trinity Coll., Conn.); Edward James Balleisen (Duke Univ.); Robin B. Barnes (Davidson Coll.); Jelena Batinic (Stanford Univ.);Jakub Benes (Univ. of California at Davis); Palmira Brummett (Univ. of Tennessee at Knoxville); Angus Burgin (Harvard Univ.); Matthew P. Canepa (Coll. of Charleston); Alex S. Cummings (Columbia Univ.); Ahmed El Shamsy (Harvard Univ.);Jared Farmer (SUNY-Stony Brook); Estelle B. Freedman (Stanford Univ.); Niklas E. Frykman (Univ. of Pittsburgh);Pablo F. Gomez (Vanderbilt Univ.); Karen B. Graubart (Univ. of Notre Dame);Monica H. Green (Arizona State Univ.);Paula Pears Hastings (Duke Univ.); Benjamin Carter Hett (CUNY, Hunter Coll.); Andrew Robert Highsmith (Univ. of Michigan at Ann Arbor); Faith C. Hillis (Yale Univ.);David Bruce Igler (Univ. of California at Irvine); Sun Joo Kim (Harvard Univ.); Phoebe S. Kropp (Univ. of Pennsylvania); Ari Daniel Levine (Univ. of Georgia); James B. Loeffler (Univ. of Virginia); Valeria Manzano (Indiana Univ.);Kathryn Merkel-Hess (Univ. of California at Irvine); Stephen A. Mihm (Univ. of Georgia); Karl Hagstrom Miller (Univ. of Texas at Austin); Elizabeth More (Harvard Univ.); Kenneth B. Moss (Johns Hopkins Univ.); Susan Naquin (Princeton Univ.);Tara E. Nummedal (Brown Univ.); Devin O. Pendas (Boston Coll.); Elizabeth J. Pillsbury (Columbia Univ.); Daniel G. Prior (Miami Univ. of Ohio);Sophia W. Quinn-Judge (Temple Univ.); Laura Robson (Yale Univ.); Karen Routledge (Rutgers Univ. at New Brunswick); Linda M. Rupert (Univ. of North Carolina at Greensboro); Marina A. Rustow (Emory Univ.); Caroline Emily Shaw (Univ. of California at Berkeley); Jonathan Sheehan (Univ. of California at Berkeley); Theresa Marie Ventura (Columbia Univ.); Hannah Weiss Muller (Princeton Univ.); and Ann Marie Wilson (Harvard Univ.).

In February 2009, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History announced the recipients of its 2009 fellowships. The 29 new fellows come from institutions across the United States and six foreign countries. The institute awards short-term fellowships to doctoral candidates, postdoctoral scholars, and independent scholars to conduct work in archives in New York City, and has funded a total of 550 fellowships since 1994. Several AHA members were among those awarded: Neil Cogan (Whittier Law Sch.),Caroline Cox (Univ. of the Pacific),Charles R. Foy (Eastern Illinois Univ.),John B. Hench (independent scholar), Rhonda Jones (North Carolina Central Univ.), and Yael A. Sternhell (Tel-Aviv Univ.) were named senior scholars; Christopher Cameron (Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Theodore Cohen (Univ. of Maryland at College Park), Hidetaka Hirota (Boston Coll.), Stephanie A.T. Jacobe (American Univ.), Jessica Marie Johnson (Univ. of Maryland at College Park),Lorraine C. McConaghy (Museum of History & Industry), Michael Todd Landis (George Washington Univ.), Kathryn Shively Meier (Univ. of Virginia), Jonathan Nash (Univ. at Albany, SUNY), Jessica Parr (Univ. of New Hampshire), Jared Peatman (Texas A&M Univ.), andKatherine Sedgwick (Univ. of Pennsylvania) were awarded as doctoral candidates.

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