Annal: 1991 Pulitzer Prize for History

Results of the Pulitzer Prize in the year 1991.

Book:A Midwife's Tale

A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Drawing on the diaries of a midwife and healer in eighteenth-century Maine, this intimate history illuminates the medical practices, household economies, religious rivalries, and sexual mores of the New England frontier.

Book:America in 1857

America in 1857: A Nation on the Brink

Kenneth M. Stampp

It was a year packed with unsettling events. The Panic of 1857 closed every bank in New York City, ruined thousands of businesses, and caused wide-spread unemployment. Stampp’s intensely focused look at this pivotal year illuminates the forces at work and the mood of the nation as it plummeted toward disaster.

Book:The Civil Rights Era

The Civil Rights Era: Origins and Development of National Policy, 1960-1972

Hugh Davis Graham

The civil rights era conjures up a wide range of dramatic images—sit-ins at segregated diners, burning churches, the massive march on Washington, police dogs and firehoses turned on protesters, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., lying dead from an assassin’s bullet. But off the streets another civil rights struggle was also waged, less violent and far less visible but no less momentous, as the vast machinery of the Federal government turned to the task of securing equal rights.

The Civil Rights Era offers the first comprehensive history of this other side of the battle for civil rights. Based on extensive research in the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon presidential archives, the National Archives, and special collections of the Library of Congress, this groundbreaking study recreates the intense debates in Congress and the White House that led to the breakthrough laws of 1964 and 1965—the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act—which banned discrimination against minorities…[more]

Book:Making a New Deal

Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939

Lizabeth Cohen

This book examines how it was possible and what it meant for ordinary factory workers to become effective unionists and national political participants by the mid-1930s. We follow Chicago workers as they make choices about whether to attend ethnic benefit society meetings or to go to the movies, whether to shop in local neighborhood stores or patronize the new A & P. Although workers may not have been political in traditional terms during the ‘20s, as they made daily decisions like these, they declared their loyalty in ways that would ultimately have political significance.

As the depression worsened in the 1930s, not only did workers find their pay and working hours cut or eliminated, but the survival strategies they had developed during the 1920s were undermined. Looking elsewhere for help, workers adopted new ideological perspectives and overcame longstanding divisions among themselves to mount new kinds of collective action. Chicago workers’ experiences as citizens, ethnics and blacks, wage earners and consumers all converged to make them into New Deal Democrats and CIO unionists.

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