1990 Annual Meeting Highlights
AHA Staff, February 1991
Awards for Scholarly Distinction
In 1984 the Council of the AHA established an award entitled the American Historical Association Award for Scholarly Distinction. Each year the Nominating Committee recommends to the Council up to three names for the award, and the Council then selects up to three names from the list presented. Nominees are senior historians of the highest distinction in the historical profession who have spent the bulk of their professional careers in the United States. Previous awards have gone to Woodrow Borah, Angie Debo, Helen G. Edmonds, Felix Gilbert, John W. Hall, Paul Oskar Kristeller, Edmund Morgan, Benjamin Quarles, Caroline Robbins, Kenneth M. Stampp, Sylvia L. Thrupp Strayer, and Edwin O. Reischauer. Joining this distinguished list are Nettie Lee Benson, Margaret Atwood Judson, and Kenneth M. Setton. The following citations were read by President-Elect Leuchtenburg at the Annual Meeting Presentation Ceremony:
"Nettie Lee Benson has, in her own time, become a rich legend. There are many, especially in Latin America, who know her name, but are less sure of the name of the university that she has so magnificently served." Thus begins an issue of the Institute of Latin American Studies (University of Texas, Austin) newsletter. Professor Benson is, indeed, a legend. She built one of the greatest Latin American libraries in the world—the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection at the University of Texas, Austin, she is a renowned scholar of Mexican history, and she is an outstanding professor of graduate students. Born in south Texas, she first went to Mexico in 1925 to teach at the Instituto Ingles-Español in Monterrey. After two years she returned to Texas to teach high school, entered the University of Texas to complete an MA degree, taught high school, and eventually returned to the University to complete her PhD. In 1942 she was invited to direct the Latin American Collection, an event that profoundly affected both her life and the discipline.
Although not formally trained in library science, Professor Benson went on to become a major force in the field of Latin American libraries. She took over a very good collection and, over the years, converted it into a magnificent one. Despite limited library budgets, she rapidly expanded the collection. In 1956 she joined other librarians and book dealers to form the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Materials (SALAM), an organization that has contributed significantly to the development of Latin American collections in this country. In 1960 she was commissioned to travel to South America for the Latin American Cooperative Acquisition Project (LACAP), a program to expand the acquisition of Latin American materials for U.S. libraries. Through that project she established her reputation as an expert in Latin American bibliography. Over the years, she continued building the Latin American collection at the University of Texas so that when she retired it was the finest Latin American library in the world. Not content with her work, she established a major trust fund to allow the collection to continue to expand.
The Latin American collection is only one of Professor Benson's achievements. She is a distinguished scholar in her own right. As the author of a series of articles and monographs, she reinterpreted the early national period of Mexico. She demonstrated, contrary to popular views, that Mexico's political system evolved naturally and was not an imitation of the United States. Her most famous work, La diputacion provincial y el federalismo mexicano, examined the provincial deputation, a little known institution, the precursor of the state governments of Mexico. Other studies illuminated the nature of early elections, the political ideology of early national leaders, and the relations of Mexico City with the periphery, particularly Texas. Indeed, her most recently published works have been long articles on Texas and the northern frontier during the early nineteenth century. She continues to work on a biography of Miguel Ramos Arizpe, the founder of Mexican federalism.
Nettie Lee Benson began teaching graduate students in the 1960s. She rapidly established herself as an excellent and one of the most demanding professors at the university. One of her first seminars resulted in the publication of a seminal book of essays, Mexico and the Spanish Cortes. Thereafter students flocked to her seminars with trepidation, but with great anticipation. Under her stern, but supporting, guidance several generations of graduate students completed masters and doctoral theses. Although she has directed students in a variety of areas, a significant number have embraced her period and are currently contributing to a reevaluation of the early nineteenth century. Many of her students are now established scholars at major universities in the U.S. and Latin America and are, themselves, producing other students. While no Benson school has appeared, there is a distinct Benson style of scholarship that is open to new ideas and approaches, but always solidly based on substantial empirical research.
Throughout Latin America, but particularly in Mexico, Professor Benson is known as a scholar who respects and admires Latin American history and culture. Over the years, she has worked tirelessly to preserve Latin American cultural treasures. No stolen books or documents, no matter how important, have ever entered the Latin American collection. On the contrary, Professor Benson has helped to keep priceless materials in their home country. In cases where the documents were no longer available, she provided copies from the Latin American collection to those institutions in Latin America which needed them. In recognition of her contributions, several countries have granted her important awards. Mexico awarded her the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest distinction a foreigner may receive.
Margaret Atwood Judson, born on November 5, 1899 in Winsted, Connecticut, received a bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke College in 1922, and AM and PhD degrees from Radcliffe College in 1923 and 1933 respectively. A student of seventeenth-century British constitutional history, Professor Judson's scholarly contributions include a classic essay on Henry Parker and the Theory of Parliamentary Sovereignty (1936), Crisis of the Constitution (Rutgers University Press, 1949), and The Political Thought of Sir Henry Vane, The Younger (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1969). Her last scholarly work, From Tradition to Political Reality, was published in 1980 by Archon Books.
More than forty years after its publication Crisis of the Constitution remains central to the historiography of the Parliamentary crisis of the first half of the seventeenth century. Using law reports and treatises, state and family papers, printed tracts and sermons, as well as Parliamentary diaries, Judson listened to and reported carefully what courtiers, clergymen, members of Parliament and especially lawyers were saying about the difficult constitutional issues before the nation. She helped scholars to understand the identities of viewpoint among them about the king, the law, rights, property, and religion, as well as their slowly hardening differences. As Lord Conrad Russell noted recently, Crisis of the Constitution "is by far the best general account of constitutional ideas in the early seventeenth century. ... Judson deserves her reputation as the Samuel Gardiner of political ideas."
A founding member of the North American Conference on British Studies, and an active participant in the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians since its early years, Margaret Judson brought many young historians to both these organizations. She spent much of her academic life at Douglass College, Rutgers University, where she served as chair of the department of history from 1955 to 1963, and in a variety of other administrative positions as well. At Rutgers University, she demonstrated her conviction that a public institution could provide a serious undergraduate education by sending generations of students on to graduate training. She is remembered by her students as a concerned and unsentimental teacher, committed to providing a first-rate education, and devoted to students who attempted to reach that goal. The tensions and the passions of her career as a female historian in an overwhelmingly male profession are captured in an autobiography entitled Breaking the Barriers: A Professional Autobiography by a Woman Educator and Historian before the Women's Movement, published by Rutgers University Press (1984).
Kenneth M. Setton is one of the pre-eminent historians of the Middle Ages, a field that has had a long and venerable tradition in the United States. Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1914, he was educated at Boston University and Columbia University, where he received his AB in 1936 and his PhD in 1941. He holds honorary degrees from Boston University and the University of Kiel. He began his teaching career at Boston University, and from 1950 to 1965 he taught at the University of Pennsylvania, where he succeeded another eminent medievalist, John L. La Monte. From 1965 to 1968 he taught at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he also served as director of the Institute for Research in the Humanities; since then, he has been at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. He has held many concurrent appointments, including that of director of the library at the University of Pennsylvania, acting director of the Gennadius Library in Athens, and Guggenheim Fellow. A member of many learned societies, he has also received a number of honors and awards, from the United States, Spain, Greece, and France.
A scholar whose work spans both the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Professor Setton has made his own a vast field of study which may best be described as the contacts and interaction between the Eastern and Western parts of Europe and the Middle East in that period. This field includes the history of the Crusades, in the many and varied manifestations of that movement. His Catalan Domination of Athens, 1311–1388 (1948), tracing the history of the Catalan Duchy of Athens and discussing its administrative structure and culture, remains a classic work. His The Papacy and the Levant, 1204–1571 was originally projected as a three-volume work, and has since then expanded to four volumes, the last of which was published in 1984. A massive study of papal policy and activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, it is a work of immense erudition, based on both published sources and, after the thirteenth century, on extensive archival research in Italian, especially Vatican and Venetian, archives. It is much more than an examination of papal policy, since it is concerned with the interaction of the papacy with other important powers, including France, the Hapsburg Empire, and the late Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. The author is a keen observer of historical reality, and places diplomatic and political events in their social context. The work spans the period from the thirteenth century to the early modern period, a task which historians rarely undertake in such depth.
A History of the Crusades, of which he is editor-in-chief, is another important addition to the historiography of the Middle Ages. Originally conceived by John L. La Monte, this is a collaborative work, carried out by a group of scholars under the able and devoted direction of Professor Setton. The last volume should be finished next year, and it is most appropriate to celebrate this event by honoring its editor with the AHA Award for Scholarly Distinction.
Professor Setton has given very considerable service to the profession. In his position as director of the library at the University of Pennsylvania, and later as director of the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin, he has facilitated the work of many scholars, and furthered historical research. His own contributions have identified and illuminated some of the major forces which shaped the history and the destiny of Europe in the medieval and early modern periods. Particularly striking is the large scope of his work, both in terms of chronology and in terms of geography. In his articles, as in his books, he has examined Western medieval and early modern Europe as well as the Byzantine Empire, from as far back as the seventh century A.D. This broad competence is not only a tribute to his erudition, but also a substantive and important contribution to the understanding of history, since it lays bare the intricate interconnection of historical events in time and space. Finally, it should be noted that Professor Setton has, in other writings, also addressed broader audiences, making history accessible and exciting to larger audiences.
The Troyer Steele Anderson Prize
This prize, established by the AHA Council in 1963 from a bequest by Frank Maloy Anderson, a longtime AHA member, is awarded every ten years to the person whom the Council considers to have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the purposes of the Association during the preceding ten years. The first prize in 1970 was awarded to Boyd Shafer, Macalester College, former AHR managing editor and AHA executive secretary. No prize was awarded in 1980. Susan M. Socolow, Emory University and vice-president of the Professional Division, read the following citation at the Presentation Ceremony.
Twenty years ago tonight, the members of the American Historical Association gathered to hear and discuss the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women. It was a landmark event for women and for our Association. The report—soon dubbed the Rose Report—documented widespread sex discrimination within departments and within the AHA, and it presented plain evidence of the dismal and declining status of women in the historical profession. It also made an urgent case for action on the part of the AHA.
With its acceptance of the report, the AHA made a historic commitment to equity for women historians. Many people worked to bring that moment about, and many others have dedicated themselves to the implementation of the Rose Report's far-reaching recommendations. We acknowledge their efforts tonight, even as we pay special honor to the report's architect and primary author, Willie Lee Rose.
In teaching her students how to write history, Willie Lee Rose told them to get right to the point (save the suspense, she would say, for detective fiction). The Rose Report got right to the point. "The present demand for social justice for women coincides with the permanent interest of the historical profession," the report began. "To increase the opportunities open to women in the field of history is to advance the quality of the profession itself."
Willie Lee Rose was her own best argument for enhancing the participation of women in the historical profession. In early 1970, when she was appointed chair of the AHA's first Committee on Women, she had held her doctorate for only eight years. But already she had demonstrated unusual mastery of the historian's craft. Rehearsal for Reconstruction was a stunning first book, the product of meticulous archival research, searching analysis, and a sensibility that continually produced new insights into the minds of people in the past, both the powerful and the disempowered. All of these virtues converged in the prose style for which Professor Rose is most renowned, a style that is at once down-to-earth and musical, accessible, and wise. It was fitting that Rehearsal for Reconstruction won major prizes, first as a dissertation, then as a book.
The same scholarly virtuosity shines through her essays, which were collected and published in 1982 under the title Slavery and Freedom. What concerns us tonight, however, is not so much the scholarship itself, but rather the many and special ways in which Willie Lee Rose put her gifts and her craft at the service of others. To the degree that the writing of history can be taught, she taught it. Some lessons were highly practical: How to impersonate a law student in order to sneak into the law library's closed stacks. What to do if you were caught. Other lessons involved the work of writing, breaking down for colleagues and for student writers a host of specific strategies for accomplishing particular rhetorical tasks. She taught by example as well. While she challenged her students to stretch their learning and their skills, she was clearly stretching her own. She had taken on the revision of a significant portion of a major textbook in United States history. She was sifting primary sources for a documentary history of slavery. And she had embarked upon a difficult and ambitious family biography of the Field brothers (Stephen, Cyrus, and David Dudley), in the process teaching herself vast amounts about nineteenth-century jurisprudence and business.
Because of Willie Lee Rose's generosity to students and colleagues, she often found herself reluctantly putting these projects on back burners. This was also the case when she accepted the leadership of the AHA Committee on the Status of Women, a committee assignment that quickly became a full-time job. Operating with a sense of profound urgency, she led her committee through a high-speed, multifaceted investigation. They visited departments of history in several parts of the country, and they interviewed students and faculty at all levels. They undertook a historical survey of the employment of women in thirty representative institutions. They examined the participation of women on AHA committees and panels over several decades. They pored over the growing literature on the status of women in academe. Fearful that the deepening job crisis would fall with particular severity on women, they prepared a survey of new PhD recipients and they produced the Rose Report. With its quiet prose, its damning statistics, and its firm recommendations, it was a classic of its kind. Much of what we have accomplished in the past twenty years can be traced back to the Rose Report.
Willie Lee Rose went on to further distinction as a scholar and teacher. In 1971 the University of Virginia named her a Commonwealth Professor. She moved to The Johns Hopkins University in 1973, after a term as a distinguished visitor at Yale. Her co-authored textbook appeared in 1973. In 1976, she brought out A Documentary History of Slavery in North America, "not ... a history of slavery," she wrote, "but rather a book that may help the reader to think about the history of slavery." In 1977, she went to Oxford University as the Harmsworth Professor of American History, the first woman to be so honored.
In 1978 she suffered a crippling stroke. Her recovery—"inch by inch," as she describes it—has been achieved against enormous odds. All the while, Willie Lee Rose has continued to teach by example, offering new lessons in persistence, grace under pressure, and above all, intellectual and personal courage.
Honorary Foreign Members
At its second annual meeting in Saratoga in 1885, the newly appointed Committee on Nominations for Honorary Membership introduced a resolution, which, when adopted, appointed Leopold von Ranke as the first honorary foreign member. In the intervening 105 years, only seventy-five individuals have been so honored. Since 1980, selection has been made in even-numbered years honoring foreign scholars who are distinguished in their field and who have "notably aided the work of American historians."
President-elect Leuchtenburg announced the addition of Miguel León-Portilla and Karl Bosl to the list of twenty-one living honorary members.
Miguel León-Portilla is a world-recognized authority on Aztec culture and is a native of Mexico City, where he received his Ph.D. summa cum laude from the National Autonomous University. He has been a professor of history at his alma mater since 1957, director of its Institute for Historical Research from 1963–75, and a member of its board of governors for the past fifteen years. He has received the doctorate honoris causa from Southern Methodist University, the universities of Tel Aviv and Toulouse, and the Autonomous University of Baja California. Currently he is his nation's ambassador to UNESCO in Paris.
Dr. León-Portilla's dedication to the profession is reflected through his lecturing and teaching at the major institutions of his native Mexico, as well as many esteemed universities in the United States and throughout the world.
His publications in Mesoamerican culture and second field of expertise, Baja California, number over two hundred articles and one hundred books, many of which have gone through several editions and been translated into English, French, and German. One of his more noted works, Visión de los Vencidos, which examines the Aztec view of the Spanish conquest, has been produced on the stage. A member of the National College, the Mexican and Spanish academies of history, the Spanish academy of language, among other professional organizations, he has held Guggenheim and Fullbright fellowships, and is currently on the board of the Smithsonian Institution. His friendship, encouragement, and assistance to his colleagues, in and outside of Mexico, is legendary.
Karl Bosl, a nestor of German medievalists, was born in 1908 in the Upper Palatinate of Bavaria. He spent most of his scholarly life at the University of Munich where he received his Ph.D. in 1938 and "habilitatio" in 1944. After six years of "ordinarius" professorship at Wurzburg, he was appointed at the University of Munich to the Chair of Landesgeschichte, focusing on the history of Bavaria.
His academic contact with the United States started at the end of World War II. Dr. George Schuster, United States Commissioner for the Denazification in Bavaria, and later President of Hunter College, had highest praise for Bosl. In 1949 he was invited by the U.S. government to visit this country. Twenty years later in 1969 he gave a series of lectures at top American universities. In the following years, Professor Bosl frequently repeated his visits to American institutes of higher learning.
Bosl's achievements were acknowledged in 1971 by the Medieval Academy of America, which elected him a corresponding fellow. The American recognition of his merits was followed up that year by his election into the British Academy, and in 1973 into the Austrian Academy of Sciences. In 1961, Bosl joined the members of the Bavarian Academy. He was honored with three festschriften on the occasion of his 65th, 75th and 80th birthdays.
In addition to his research on the history of Bavaria, Professor Bosl has also investigated early forms of society in medieval Europe, as well as the medieval foundations of modern German society. The number of his publications, books, and articles, upon his 80th birthday, reached the respectable number of 747. In his work Bosl traced the elements of continuity and change in time, through historical analysis of economy, mentality, art, religion, and society. For him continuity and change are the basic elements and forms of human history. He maintained the theory that all past history is flowing into presence and through contemporary events into the future.
Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award
While the AHA has traditionally recognized outstanding scholarship, no prize honoring teaching was awarded for over a hundred years. In 1986 the AHA's Teaching Division recommended and the Council approved the establishment of an annual award to recognize both excellence in teaching and knowledge of the subject of history. The award is given jointly by the AHA and the Society for History Education (SHE) and is named for the late Eugene Asher, former SHE executive secretary who for decades was a central figure in efforts to improve the quality of history teaching. The Teaching Division oversees the selection of the recipient of the award; nominations are submitted by the previous year's book prize winners. Each is invited to nominate one of his or her teachers, who by inspirational impact and excellence encouraged that individual to study history. Eligible for consideration are school, undergraduate, and graduate instructors.
Evalyn Clark, professor emeritus, Vassar College, was awarded the 1990 Asher Award. Professor Clark was nominated by Nancy Nichols Barker, professor of history, University of Texas, Austin, recipient of the 1989 Gershoy Award. Barbara J. Harris, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, a member of the Teaching Division and former student and advisee of Dr. Clark, read portions of Dr. Barker's letter at the Presentation Ceremony.
"I have the honor to nominate Evalyn M. Clark, professor emeritus, Vassar College, for the Asher Distinguished Teaching Award. As a former undergraduate student of Professor Clark at Vassar I can attest personally to her excellence as both scholar and teacher of modern European history.
"From the beginning of her career as a historian Professor Clark displayed scholarly excellence. Winning a full scholarship to Vassar College in the days when financial aid was awarded for academic excellence as much as for financial need, she graduated in 1924 as Phi Beta Kappa and with honors. Still on scholarship, she proceeded to The Johns Hopkins University to study Roman and classical culture under the distinguished Tenny Frank. After writing her dissertation on the Roman army in Gaul and receiving the Ph.D., she began teaching ancient history at Douglass College, Rutgers University.
"Her transition to the field of modern European history resulted in large part from her extensive summer travel in Europe during which she confronted the questions of the origins of the Nazi triumph in Weimar Germany and the new "Roman" empire (Fascist) in Italy. When an opening occurred at Vassar in 1939, she was hired to teach the French Revolution and contemporary European history, subjects in which she was eminently qualified.
"In the classroom at Vassar Professor Clark quickly abandoned the orthodox chronological approach and rote memorization of "facts." Beginning with the New York Times and working backward, she revealed to her students that history dealt not only with the past but was a path to the understanding, or at least a study, of the present. She brought us to perceive that the great issues of our day could be approached only by knowledge of their historical antecedents. Yet in the excitement of the discussion of issues and theories, Professor Clark's students were never permitted to stray far from a solid foundation of historical data. Woe betide the student who indulged in windy theorization devoid of factual framework. A rigorous and exacting scholar, she commanded an awesome breadth and depth of knowledge of languages and history. The notes that I prepared during her classes later served me as one principal resource for review for the major oral examination for the doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania.
"I marvel now, as I struggle to motivate my own students, at how much work she managed to get out of us: long hours of reading in the library, of making annotated bibliographies (each week!) of that reading, of preparing for comprehensive examinations, and of writing term papers that would take us to the New York Public Library for their research. Only a truly gifted and dedicated teacher—we were aware that she was working as hard or harder than we—could have inspired us to such efforts.
"Although retired from teaching, Professor Clark is active in state and local educational affairs and college life. She maintains constant contact with a host of her former students and, always abreast of contemporary history and scholarship, continues to inspire our admiration and respect." Honorable mentions for 1990 were: Paul Beik, Swarthmore College; George Kren, Kansas State University; Walter LaFeber, Cornell University; David Montgomery, Yale University; and William Taylor, SUNY, Stony Brook.
1990 Book Awards
At the annual meeting in New York, the following prizes were announced for the year 1990. The committee's citations are recorded below:
Herbert Baxter Adams Prize
Richard C. Hoffmann, York University, Ontario, for Land, Liberties, and Lordship in a Late Medieval Countryside: Agrarian Structures and Change in the Duchy of Wroclaw (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989). Richard C. Hoffmann's book studies rural life in the Duchy of Wroclaw from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries. It is a magisterial work, the story of how the peasantry in the duchy increasingly gained liberties during a time of economic expansion in the late twelfth and thirteenth centuries and then, two centuries later, lost those liberties because it could not counter the disruptive forces that opened the way for the imposition of a new serfdom. Through a masterly evaluation of a vast range of sources in many languages, the author first describes the gradual establishment of a new socio-economic order, known as the system of German law, which embodied the practices and institutions that facilitated the achievement of peasant liberties. In his richly-detailed reconstruction of the function and further development of this new order, he explores a multitude of themes, but especially the nature of peasant tenancy, the relationship between lord and peasant, and the inner workings of the formal village community. The account leads, finally, to a perceptive analysis of the reasons for the erosion of this socio-economic order and of the decline into neo-serfdom.
Richard Hoffmann supports his master narrative and its many subplots with an impressive array of maps, tables, and figures. Rigorous quantitative investigations neatly complement the skillful use of qualitative evidence. The result is a work of fundamental significance, an entirely persuasive explanation of the historical trajectory from peasant freedom to serfdom. This year's committee on the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize is extremely pleased to present Richard Hoffmann's Land, Liberties, and Lordship in a Late Medieval Countryside to members of the American Historical Association.
George Louis Beer Prize
Steven Merritt Miner, Ohio University, for Between Churchill and Stalin: The Soviet Union, Great Britain, and the Origins of the Grand Alliance (University of North Carolina Press, 1989). A tightly-focused work, his first book-length study, constitutes a significant achievement in the field of diplomatic history. Based on unpublished materials from British and American archives, as well as on published German and Russian documents, this work presents a compelling narrative of Anglo-Soviet relations in the early years of the Second World War. More than that, it offers a clear, interpretative direction in the form of an argument which attributes the origins of the Cold War to those crucial years between 1940 and 1942. Mindful of George Louis Beer's wish to applaud the work of developing scholars, the 1990 committee has signalled through this award to Steven Miner the prize-winning potential of younger scholars still early in their careers.
Albert J. Beveridge Award
Jon Butler, Yale University, for Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People (Harvard University Press, 1990). Beginning with the religious scene in sixteenth century Europe, Butler describes the lay Christianization of the American people in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries. His broadly conceived book rests on a wide range of primary sources, and is written in clear and forceful prose. Revising other accounts of America's early religious history, he emphasizes the ascension, not the declension, of popular religious expressions—including magic and the occult—in America after 1700. His chapter on the "African spiritual holocaust" is an especially arresting discussion of the destruction by Christianity of traditional African religious systems (though not all particular or discrete religious practices) before 1760. Butler is equally at home in nineteenth-century sources and highlights the extraordinary complexity, eclecticism, and pluralism of lay religion in the "spiritual hothouse" of the antebellum period. The range, research, and originality of Butler's book make it a worthy recipient of the American Historical Association's Beveridge award in 1990.
Paul Birdsall Prize
Brian Loring Villa, University of Ottawa, for Unauthorized Action: Mountbatten and the Dieppe Raid (Oxford University Press, 1989). Villa explores extensive evidence from varied perspectives to determine responsibility for the disastrous raid on Dieppe (1942) that caused 3,300 Canadian casualties. Mountbatten leads a list of responsible senior leaders that includes Churchill. All shared "varying degrees of desire and determination" to act despite the likelihood of failure.
James Henry Breasted Prize
Robert Borgen, University of California, Davis, for Sugawara no Michizane and the Early Heian Court (Harvard University Press, 1989). At first glance, this book appears to be a biography, a narrative of the life and historical import of a prominent political figure and cult-hero of Heian Japan. On closer examination, it proves to be a highly ambitious effort to survey the entire cultural, intellectual, and literary landscape of ninth-century Japan as reflected in the life of one critical figure of that period. The author goes to exceptional lengths to provide a context; he draws into his story the local people and events affecting the life and times of Michizane, along with the political and literary traditions imported from T'ang China that similarly informed elite culture in Heian Japan. Eclectically inspired and exceptionally well-written, this book is highly readable; its fluid translations of Michizane's poetry will add a particular appeal to the broad audience for whom the book will be an attractive introduction to early Japan.
Albert B. Corey Prize
Reginald Stuart, Mount Saint Vincent University, Nova Scotia, for United States Expansionism and British North America 1775–1871 (University of North Carolina Press, 1988). Since the publication of the multi-volume Carnegie Series in the 1930s and 40s on Canadian-American relations, the field has been thoroughly plowed by scholars in Canada, the United States, and Great Britain. There is such rich monographic and article literature that it was hard to imagine anything fresh could be said that was not simply provocative for the sake of being provoking or was too simplistic. The difficulties of saying anything new are particularly evident in the period from the Revolution to the end of the Civil War. All the big topics such as Anglo-American relations from the Revolution to the War of 1812 and the analysis of a series of diplomatic crises from the 1830s to the Civil war years have been dealt with by competent scholars. Yet, Reginald Stuart has entered into this historiographical landscape and the whole terrain is bathed in new light. The book's main contribution is to show the different strands, including regional and local ones, behind American expansion. He also shows that irrespective of national policies in Washington, London, or British North America, the years from 1775 to 1871 saw the development of an increasingly complex cross-border economic community. In adopting such approaches to the field, Professor Stuart has effectively undermined some of the old stereotypes which obscured understanding.
John H. Dunning Prize
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, University of New Hampshire, for A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785–1812 (Alfred A. Knopf, 1989). Professor Ulrich uses the minutiae regularly recorded in Martha Ballard's diary to construct an intricate mosaic of life on the Maine frontier. Charting developments in family life, pharmocology, sexuality, social relations, and economic exchange, she offers a rare vision of historical change as experienced and interpreted by one remarkable woman.
John K. Fairbank Prize
Miriam Silverberg, University of California, Los Angeles, for Changing Song: The Marxist Manifestos of Nakano Shigeharu (Princeton University Press, 1990). This insightful and original book analyzes the writings of an influential poet in interpreting Japanese culture and Marxism's appeal among Japanese intellectuals in the 1920s. Illuminating Nakano's thought through changing emphases represented as "songs," Professor Silverberg finds in Nakano's poems and his other literary texts a "modern Marxist" critique of Taisho "commodity culture" and the shaping of both language and the "citizen-consumer."
Herbert Feis Award
Theodore Draper, Princeton, New Jersey, for A Present of Things Past: Selected Essays (Hill and Wang, 1990). This book ranges brilliantly across topics in U.S. foreign policy, social and intellectual history, the American presidency, the Iran and the Contra affairs, U.S. involvement in Kuwait, and the nature of historical inquiry itself. The essays are beautifully written, engaging, challenging, and provocative. They teach by example how a master historical craftsman utilizes criticism and balanced analysis to penetrate the layers of myth, propaganda, and the ideological barriers (both left and right) that stand in the way of a more thoughtful understanding of American history.
Leo Gershoy Award
Richard Herr, University of California, Berkeley, for Rural Change and Royal Finances in Spain at the End of the Old Regime (University of California Press, 1989). This is a stimulating and immensely valuable piece of work. The massive research and the clarity of the prose are only two of its many assets; it is both rare and admirable for a book to combine a detailed study description and analysis of policy-making at the center with a large number of local case studies. It is even more rare to have those local studies followed by two regional studies.
J. Franklin Jameson Prize
Gary Moulton, University of Nebraska, for the editing of The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, five volumes, including an atlas (University of Nebraska Press, 1986). The publication of these journals represents a superb editorial accomplishment. The series has been presented in a timely manner and includes an excellent atlas volume. The handsome design and printing of The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition will only enhance its use to researchers for many years to come.
Joan Kelly Memorial Prize
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, University of New Hampshire, for A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785–1812 (Alfred A. Knopf, 1989). In this brilliant exegesis of a diary previously considered trivial by historians, Professor Ulrich has reconstructed the life of a community, a family, and a woman on the Maine frontier. In Ulrich's skilled hands, Martha Ballard's diary discloses the operation of a female economy, reveals the importance of the midwife in the life of a rural community, and provides insight into gender roles and relationships. In this very readable account of the life of one obscure woman, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich has enriched our understanding of eighteenth-century life and has powerfully demonstrated the relevance of women's history to our understanding of the human past.
Allen Steinberg, Bowdoin College, for The Transformation of Criminal Justice: Philadelphia, 1800–1880 (University of North Carolina Press, 1989). Through imaginative use of sources, Allen Steinberg has chronicled the transformation of the criminal justice system in Philadelphia from one of private prosecution, serving primarily to resolve disputes, to the modern administrative apparatus. His study sheds light not only on a little-understood area of legal history, but also illuminates larger changes in American urban life.
Howard R. Marraro Prize
James Edward Miller, U.S. Department of State, for From Elite to Mass Politics: Italian Socialism in the Giolittian Era, 1900–1914 (Kent State University Press, 1990). James Miller's careful study of the Italian Socialist Party has illuminated the kaleidoscopic character of Italian politics in the critical years preceding World War I. By providing a lucid discussion of the many political strategies available to the PSI, and the constant shaping and reshaping of them, the author reveals how this important party attempted to organize its own internal affairs, while simultaneously attempting to cope with the larger policy issues dominating the national agenda. In doing so, Miller reveals clearly the strengths and particularly the limitations inherent in the PSI's reformist strategy. The study, therefore, has afforded substantial insight into the dynamics underpinning the creation of Italy's political culture. Engagingly written, soundly researched, and intelligently organized, Miller's volume has made a distinctive contribution to an important area of Italian history.
Premio del Rey Prize
Bernard F. Reilly, Villanova University, for The Kingdom of León-Castilla under King Alfonso VI, 1065–1109 (Princeton University Press, 1988). The book is an extraordinary achievement in that its author—without any previous synthesis to build on—had to base his study of over forty years almost entirely on isolated documents. His success in bringing them into a coherent picture clarifies, for the first time, the record of a key reign in Spanish history.
James Harvey Robinson Prize
Gerald Danzer, University of Illinois at Chicago, for Discovering the Past through Maps and Views (HarperCollins Publishers, 1989). In this well-researched and beautifully articulated book, Professor Danzer uses one hundred and ten transparencies to reconnect United States history to geography and to explore themes of population and politics, economics and environment, urbanization, culture and everyday life. The collection is innovative and comprehensive ranging from a model of the Powhatan world view to a map of San Diego taken from space. Its flexibility and usefulness will be appreciated by teachers from the pre-collegiate through university levels. If the study of history is to enliven our present lives, as James Harvey Robinson would insist it must, then Discovering the Past through Maps and Views can help us. It lives up to Danzer's aspiration to give us "new understanding about the American experience and renew excitement about the adventure with history."