Friday, February 15, 2008

2008 Lincoln Prize...A Split Decision

The results are in. The winner of this year's coveted Lincoln Prize, the most prestigious (and generous) award in the field of Lincoln Studies, is...

Wait a minute...we have a split decision!

The award goes to two different books: The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics by James Oakes and Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters by Elizabeth Brown Pryor.

Both Oakes and Pryor will receive $20,000 and a bronze replica of Augustus Saint-Gaudens life-size bust, "Lincoln the Man."

In addition, Chandra Manning has been awarded an honorable mention and $10,000 for her excellent book What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War.

The Gilder-Lehrman Institute, as well as Gettysburg College, did an excellent job in selecting this year's winner(s).

If you have not yet read these books, check them out. I've been a big fan of Oakes' work and his comparative study of Lincoln and Douglass is excellent. I plan to use his book in my survey course on early American history.

Though I have not yet read Pryor's book, I have heard nothing but wonderful things about it. Kevin Levin, whose Civil War Memory blog is a must-read, has called the book "the single best volume on Lee ever published." I will be reading it soon.

I recall reading a couple of articles by Chandra Manning that appeared in North and South Magazine in 2004. I believe both articles were adaptations of chapters in her dissertation. I liked the articles very much. Her dissertation is now an award-winning book. I look forward to reading it.

Congratulations to the winners of the Lincoln Prize. They are now part of a distinguished fraternity.


Deb Goodrich said...

Sam, I thought Reading the Man should win every award available. Elizabeth's compassion, insight, and analysis are as valuable as her research. I didn't want the chapters on Lee's famous father to end. Kudos for an invaluable contribution to not only the Civil War World, but history in general.

Samuel P. Wheeler said...

Hi Deb,

Thanks so much for your comment. I am looking forward to Pryor's book. I've heard so many good things about it!