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The 2013 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award winner

The winner of the 2013 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award is Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis, by Timothy Egan, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.                                                                                                                                                                      

Ralph Waldo Emerson Award  List of Previous Winners

  • 2012     Jay Rubenstein, Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse (Basic Books)
  • 2011     Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (Basic Books)
  • 2010     Susan M. Reverby, Examining Tuskegee: The Infamous Syphilis Study and Its Legacy 
                  (University of North Carolina Press) 
  • 2009     Peter Trachtenberg, The Book of Calamities: Five Questions About Suffering and Its Meaning  
                  (Little, Brown and Company)  
  • 2008     Leor Halevi, Muhammad's Grave: Death Rites and the Making of Islamic Society (Columbia University Press)
  • 2007     David Brion Davis, Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World (Oxford University Press)
  • 2006     Susan Scott Parrish, American Curiosity: Cultures of Natural History in the  Colonial British and Atlantic World 
                  (University of North Carolina Press and the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture
  • 2005     Isabel Hull, Absolute Destruction: Military Culture and the Practices of War in 
                  Imperial Germany (Cornell Universtiy Press)
  • 2004     Jennifer Michael Hecht, The End of the Soul (Columbia University Press)
  • 2003     David Freedberg, The Eye of the Lynx: Galileo, His Friends, and the
                  Beginnings of Modern Natrual History (University of Chicago Press)
  • 2002     Fredric L. Cheyette, Ermengard of Narbonne and the World of the 
                  Troubadours (Cornell University Press)
  • 2001     Debora Silverman, Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Search for Sacred Art 
                  (Straus and Giroux)
  • 2000     Peter Novick, The Holocaust in American Life (Houghton Mifflin)
  • 1999     H.C. Erik Midelfort, A History of Madness in Sixteenth-Century Germany
                  (Stanford University Press)
  • 1998     Jill Lepore, The Name of War: King Philip’s War and the Origins of American 
                  Identity (Alfred A. Knopf)
  • 1997     Steven B. Smith, Spinoza, Liberalism, and the Question of Jewish Identity
                  (Yale University Press)
  • 1996     Eloise Quinones Keber, Codex Telleriano-Remensis:  Ritual, Divination, and 
                  History in a Pictorial Aztec Manuscript (University of Texas Press)
  • 1995     Caroline Walker Bynum, The Resurrection of the Body in Western 
                  Christianity, 220-1336 (Columbia University Press)
  • 1994     David Levering Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois:  Biography of a Race, 1868-1919
                  (Henry Holt and Company)
  • 1993     Theda Skocpol, Protecting Soldiers and Mothers:  The Political Origins of 
                  Social Policy in the United States (The Belknap Press of Harvard University 
  • 1992     Gordon S. Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (Knopf)
  • 1991     Carl N. Degler, In Search of Human Nature:  The Decline and Revival of 
                  Darwinism in American Social Thought (Oxford University Press)
  • 1990     William L. Vance, America’s Rome, Volumes I and II (Yale University Press)
  • 1989     Peter Brown, The Body and Society:  Men, Women, and Sexual 
                  Renunication in Early Christianity (Columbia University Press)
  • 1988     David Montgomery, The Fall of the  House of Labor (Cambridge University 
  • 1987     Alfred W. Crosby, Ecological Imperialism:  The Biological Expansion of
                  Europe, 900-1900 (Cambridge University Press)
  • 1986     Benjamin I. Schwartz, The World of Thought in Ancient China (The 
                  Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)
  • 1985     Joel Williamson, The Crucible of Race:  Black-White Relations in the
                  American South since Emancipation (Oxford University Press)
  • 1984     David G. Roskies, Against the Apocalypse:  Responses to Catastrophe in 
                  Modern Jewish Culture (Harvard University Press)
  • 1983     Daniel Joseph Singal, The War Within:  From Victorian to Modernist Thought
                  in the South, 1919-1945 (University of North Carolina Press)
  • 1982     Robert Nozick, Philosophical Explanations (The Belknap Press of Harvard 
                  University Press)
  • 1981     George M. Fredrickson, White Supremacy:  A Comparative Study in American 
                  and South African History (Oxford University Press)
  • 1980     Frank E. Manuel and Fritzie P. Manuel, Utopian Thought in the Western 
                  World (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)
  • 1979     Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, The Printing Press As An Agent of Change, 
                  Volumes I and II (Cambridge University Press)
  • 1978     Bruce Kuklick, The Rise of American Philosophy:  Cambridge, Massachusetts,
                  1860-1930 (Yale University Press)
  • 1977     Eugen Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen:  The Modernization of Rural France, 
                  1870-1914 (Stanford University Press)
  • 1976     Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory (Oxford University Press)
  • 1975     Marshall G. S. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam (University of Chicago Press)
  • 1974     Frederic C. Lane, Venice:  A Maritime Republic
                  (Johns Hopkins University Press)
  • 1973     Barrington Moore, Jr., Reflections on the Causes of Human Misery and 
                  upon Certain Proposals to Eliminate Them (Beacon Press)
  • 1972     John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (The Belknap Press of Harvard University
  • 1971     Charles A. Barker, American Convictions:  Cycles of Public Thought,
                  1600-1850 (J.B. Lippincott)
  • 1970     Rollo May, Love and Will (Norton)
  • 1969     Peter Gay, Weimar Culture:  The Outsider As Insider (Harper & Row)
  • 1968     Winthrop D. Jordan, White Over Black:  American Attitudes Toward the 
                  Negro, 1550-1812 (University of North Carolina Press)
  • 1967     Robert Coles, Children of Crisis:  A Study of Courage and Fear
                  (Atlantic-Little, Brown)
  • 1966     John  Herman Randall, Jr., The Career of Philosophy:  From the German 
                  Enlightenment to the Age of Darwin (Columbia University Press)
  • 1965     Howard Mumford Jones, O Strange New World:  American Culture-
                  The Formative Years (Viking Press)
  • 1964     Thomas F. Gossett, Race:  The History of An Idea in America (Southern
                  Methodist University Press)
  • 1963     Richard Hofstadter, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (Knopf)
  • 1962     Herbert J. Muller, Freedom in the Ancient World (Harper & Brothers)
  • 1961     W. T. Stace, Mysticism and Philosophy (J.B. Lippincott)
  • 1960     Albert William Levi, Philosophy and the Modern World 
                  (Indiana University Press)


Love of learning is the guide of life.