Honor roll: National Book Award for History

Each of these books has been nominated for a National Book Award for History. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:Been in the Storm So Long

Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery

Leon F. Litwack

Based on hitherto unexamined sources: interviews with ex-slaves, diaries and accounts by former slaveholders, this “rich and admirably written book” (Eugene Genovese, The New York Times Book Review) aims to show how, during the Civil War and after Emancipation, blacks and whites interacted in ways that dramatized not only their mutual dependency, but the ambiguities and tensions that had always been latent in “the peculiar institution.”


Macaulay: The Shaping of the Historian

John Clive

Thomas Babington Macaulay was one of nineteenth-century England’s greatest figures. His History of England has been a classic for well over a century; his parliamentary speeches and his essays have inspired generations of statesmen; schoolchildren by the millions have memorized his Lays of Ancient Rome. In this masterly book, John Clive give us the forces—familial, intellectual, circumstatntial and psychological—that shaped the life and mind of this great historian and orator.

Book:Utopian Thought in the Western World

Utopian Thought in the Western World

Frank Edward Manuel

This masterly study has a grand sweep. It ranges over centuries, with a long look backward over several millennia. Yet the history it unfolds is primarily the story of individuals: thinkers and dreamers who envisaged an ideal social order and described it persuasively, leaving a mark on their own and later times.

The roster of utopians includes men of all stripes in different countries and eras—figures as disparate as More and Fourier, the Marquis de Sade and Edward Bellamy, Rousseau and Marx. Fascinating character studies of the major figures are among the delights of the book.

Utopian writings run the gamut from fictional narratives to theoretical treatises, from political manifestos to constitutions for a new society. The Manuels have structured five centuries of utopian invention by identifying successive constellations,…[more]

Book:Voices of Protest

Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, & the Great Depression

Alan Brinkley

The study of two demagogues, whose vast popularity explains much about Depression-era America.

Book:The Generation of 1914

The Generation of 1914

Robert Wohl

The generation of 1914 holds a special place in memory, affection, and myth. In this irresistible and moving book, Robert Wohl rescues it from the shadows of legend and brings it fully into the realm of understanding. He tells the story of the young men—the middle class elite of five European countries, France, Germany, England, Spain, and Italy, to recreate the generational consciousness that united them as well as the unique national experience that made them different.

These were men born at the end of the nineteenth century when the world of reason was disintegrating into a world of irrationality. They were destined to rule but their lives were interrupted by the greatest of wars, leaving them searching for identity and historical continuity. Wohl recaptures this search through novels, poems, autobiographies, memoirs, sociological treatises, philosophical essays, university lectures, political speeches, conversations when recorded, letters, personal notebooks, and newspaper…[more]

Book:People of the Sacred Mountain

People of the Sacred Mountain: A History of the Northern Cheyenne Chiefs and Warrior Societies, 1830-1879

Peter J. Powell

Book:Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality

Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era...

John Boswell

John Boswell’s highly acclaimed study of the history of attitudes toward homosexuality in the Christian West challenges received opinion and our own preconceptions about the Church’s past relationship to its gay members, among whom were priests, bishops and even canonized saints. The historical breadth of Boswell’s research (from the Greeks to Aquinas) and the variety of sources consulted (legal, literary, theological, artistic, and scientific) make this one of the most extensive treatments of any single aspect of Western social history. The product of ten years of research and analysis of records in a dozen languages, this book opens up a new area of historical inquiry and helps elucidate the origins and operations of intolerance as a social force.

Book:A Distant Mirror

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

Barbara Wertheim Tuchman

The 14th century gives us back two contradictory images: a glittering time of crusades and castles, cathedrals and chivalry, and a dark time of ferocity and spiritual agony, a world plunged into a chaos of war, fear and the Plague. Barbara Tuchman anatomizes the century, revealing both the great rhythms of history and the grain and texture of domestic life as it was lived.

Book:The White House Years

The White House Years

Henry A. Kissinger

Book:Intellectual Life in the Colonial South, 1585-1763

Intellectual Life in the Colonial South, 1585-1763

Richard Beale Davis

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