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Subject Guide: History: Award-winning Books - Society of American Historians

Society of American Historians

Francis Parkman Prize

The Francis Parkman Prize is awarded annually for the best nonfiction book on an American theme published the previous year. For more information about the Society of American Historians, sponsors of The Francis Parkman Prize, click here.

2020  Gods of the upper air : how a circle of renegade anthropologists reinvented race, sex, and gender in the twentieth century by Charles King
2019  Frederick Douglass : prophet of freedom by David W. Blight

2018  Great crossings : Indians, settlers, and slaves in the Age of Jackson by Christina Snyder
2017  Black Elk : the life of an American visionary by Joe Jackson
2016  American apostles : when evangelicals entered the world of Islam by Christine Leigh Heyrman
2015  Our Declaration : a reading of the Declaration of Independence in defense of equality by Danielle Allen
2014  A cruel and shocking act : the secret history of the Kennedy assassination by Philip Shenon
2013  Embers of war : the fall of an empire and the making of America's Vietnam by Fredrik Logevall
2012  Railroaded : the transcontinentals and the making of modern America by Richard White
2011  Stayin' alive : the 1970s and the last days of the working class by Jefferson Cowie
2010  Cheever : a life by Blake Bailey
2009  On Zion's mount : Mormons, Indians, and the American landscape by Jared Farmer
2008  FDR by Jean Edward Smith
2007  Empires of the Atlantic world : Britain and Spain in America, 1492–1830 by John Huxtable Elliott
2006  The Peabody sisters : three women who ignited American romanticism by Megan Marshall
2005  Shades of Hiawatha : staging Indians, making Americans : 1880-1930 by Alan Trachtenberg
2004  A murder in Virginia : Southern justice on trial by Suzanne Lebsock
2003  Captives & cousins : slavery, kinship, and community in the Southwest borderlands by James F. Brooks
2002  The Metaphysical Club by Louis Menand
2001  Crucible of war : the Seven Years' War and the fate of empire in British North America, 1754-1766 by Fred Anderson
2000  Freedom from fear : the American people in depression and war, 1929-1945 by David M. Kennedy
1999  The contested plains : Indians, goldseekers, & the rush to Colorado by Elliott West
1998  Rising tide : the great Mississippi flood of 1927 and how it changed America by John M. Barry
1997  Mothers of invention : women of the slaveholding South in the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust
1996  Emerson : the mind on fire : a biography by Robert D. Richardson, Jr.
1995  The unredeemed captive : a family story from early America by John Demos
1994  W. E. B. Du Bois--biography of a race, 1868-1919 by David Levering Lewis
1993  Truman by David McCullough
1992  The middle ground : Indians, empires, and republics in the Great Lakes region, 1650-1815 by Richard White
1991  A new Andalucia and a way to the Orient : the American Southeast during the sixteenth century by Paul E. Hoffman
1990  A first class temperament; the emergence of Franklin Roosevelt by Geoffrey C. Ward
1989  Reconstruction : America's unfinished revolution, 1863-1877 by Eric Foner
1988  Commander in chief : Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his lieutenants, and their war by Eric Larrabee
1987  A machine that would go of itself : the Constitution in American culture by Michael Kammen
1986  Crabgrass frontier : the suburbanization of the United States by Kenneth T. Jackson
1985  The crucible of race : black/white relations in the American South since emancipation by Joel Williamson
1984  Changes in the land : Indians, colonists, and the ecology of New England by William Cronon
1983  Common landscape of America, 1580 to 1845 by John R. Stilgoe
1982  Grant : a biography by William S. McFeely
1981  A revolutionary people at war : the Continental Army and American character, 1775-1783 by Charles Royster
1980  Been in the storm so long : the aftermath of slavery by Leon F. Litwack
1979  The Potawatomis, keepers of the fire by R. David Edmunds
1978  The path between the seas : the creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 by David McCullough
1977  World of our fathers by Irving Howe, with the assistance of Kenneth Libo
1976  American slavery, American freedom : the ordeal of colonial Virginia by Edmund S. Morgan
1975  The power broker : Robert Moses and the fall of New York by Robert A. Caro
1974  Stephen A. Douglas by Robert W. Johannsen
1973  FDR : the beckoning of destiny, 1882-1928; a history by Kenneth S. Davis
1972  Eleanor and Franklin; the story of their relationship, based on Eleanor Roosevelt’s private papers by Joseph P. Lash
1971  Roosevelt : the soldier of freedom by James MacGregor Burns
1970  The first summit; Roosevelt and Churchill at Placentia Bay 1941 by Theodore A. Wilson
1969  White over black : American attitudes toward the Negro, 1550-1812 by Winthrop D. Jordan

1968  No award
1967  Exploration and empire; the explorer and the scientist in the winning of the American West by William H. Goetzmann
1966  The Americans : the national experience by Daniel J. Boorstin
1965  Rehearsal for Reconstruction : the Port Royal experiment by Willie Lee Rose
1964  Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-1940 by William Edward Leuchtenburg
1963  That wilder image; the painting of America’s native school from Thomas Cole to Winslow Homer by James Thomas Flexner
1962  Little brown brother; how the United States purchased and pacified the Philippine Islands at the century’s turn by Leon Wolff
1961  Turmoil and tradition; a study of the life and times of Henry L. Stimson by Elting E. Morison
1960  Edison : a biography by Matthew Josephson
1959  Henry Adams : the middle years by Ernest Samuels
1958  The age of Roosevelt : volume 1 : Crisis of the Old Order, 1919-1933 by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

Society of American Historians Prize for Historical Fiction (formerly, James Fenimore Cooper Prize)

The Society of American Historians Prize for Historical Fiction is awarded biennially in odd-numbered years for a book of historical fiction on an American subject which makes a significant contribution to historical understanding, portrays authentically the people and events of the historical past, and displays skills in narrative construction and prose style. For more information about The Society of American Historians, click here.

2019  There, there by Tommy Orange
2017  No prize awarded.
2015  Saint Monkey : a novel by Jacinda Townsend
2013  Remember Ben Clayton : a novel by Stephen Harrigan
2011  Matterhorn : a novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes
2009  Loving Frank : a novel by Nancy Horan
2007  The last town on earth : a novel by Thomas Mullen
2005  The plot against America by Philip Roth
2003  Paradise Alley : a novel by Kevin Baker
2001  A dangerous friend by Ward Just; Bone by bone : a novel by Peter Matthiessen
1999  Gain by Richard Powers
1997  The cattle killing by John Edgar Wideman
1995  In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brien
1993  Shaman by Noah Gordon