2024 Tom Watson Brown Book Prize Winner

2024 Tom Watson Brown Book Prize Winner

The Society of Civil War Historians and the Watson-Brown Foundation are proud to announce that Yael A. Sternhell is the recipient of the 2024 Tom Watson Brown Book Award. Dr. Sternhell earned the award for War on Record: The Archive and the Afterlife of the Civil War which was published in 2023 by Yale University Press. The $50,000 award is funded by the Watson-Brown Foundation in honor of Tom Watson Brown, a dedicated student of the Civil War.

Author standing in front of book shelves

In making its selection, the prize committee stated:

“This volume explores how the documentary collection best known as the Official Records was assembled by officials of the US government in a process that reflected embedded agendas, various priorities, assumptions about what to include and exclude, issues of organization, and other concerns that fundamentally shaped the most important documentary editing edition ever produced by a federal agency. Historians will have to wrestle with this revealing work and its implications for the writing of Civil War history; thanks to Sternhell’s trailblazing scholarship, they will never again view the Official Records in quite the same way.”

The Watson Brown Book Award jury consisted of Brooks D. Simpson (chair), Diane Miller Sommerville, Susannah Ural, and Tad Brown, President of the Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc.

Dr. Sternhell will be honored at the SCWH banquet taking place this November during the 2024 Annual Meeting of the Southern Historical Association, held this year in Kansas City, Missouri.

Winner Biography

Dr. Yael Sternhell is associate professor of history and American studies at Tel Aviv University. She is the author of Routes of War: The World of Movement in the Confederate South (Harvard University Press, 2012) and War on Record: The Archive and the Afterlife of the Civil War (Yale University Press, 2023). Her work has won awards from the Southern Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians and both of her books were shortlisted for the Lincoln Prize. In 2024-2025 she will be the Weinstock Visiting Associate Professor of History at Harvard University.

Hilary N. Green

Hilary N. Green is the James B. Duke Professor of Africana Studies at Davidson College. She previously worked in the Department of Gender and Race Studies at the University of Alabama where she developed the Hallowed Grounds Project. She earned her M.A. in History from Tufts University in 2003, and Ph.D. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010. Her research and teaching interests include the intersections of race, class, and gender in African American history, the American Civil War, Reconstruction, as well as Civil War memory, African American education, and the Black Atlantic. She is the author of Educational Reconstruction: African American Schools in the Urban South, 1865-1890 (Fordham, 2016).

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