SOURCE: The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation

February 12, 2015 07:00 ET

Shortlist Announced for 2014 Guggenheim-Lehrman Prize in Military History

Winner of the Second Annual Prize Will Be Named March 23 in New York City Ceremony

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - February 12, 2015) - The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation announced today the shortlist of three books in contention for the second annual Guggenheim-Lehrman Prize in Military History. The winner of the $50,000 prize will be announced at a ceremony March 23 at the New-York Historical Society in New York City.

"The success of the Prize last year has tautened the judges' antennae for extraordinary history-writing. Merely very, very good is not good enough," said the chairman of the judging committee, Dr. Andrew Roberts.

 The books on the 2014 shortlist:

  • The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams, and the Making of Modern China by Julia Lovell (Overlook Press)
  • The Long Shadow: The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century by David Reynolds (W.W. Norton)
  • Ring of Steel: Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I by Alexander Watson (Basic Books)

"Our purpose in establishing this annual prize is to restore the serious pursuit of military history in research, scholarship, and writing -- in recent times ignored by the American academic community. The historical illiteracy of the rising generations of college students current and recent is profoundly dangerous to their growth and participation as responsible citizens: war and violence are permanent staples of the human condition." said Josiah Bunting III, president of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, which is providing part of the funding for the prize, and national chairman of the English Speaking Union.

The inaugural 2013 Prize was awarded this past March to Allen Guelzo for his bestselling book Gettysburg: The Last Invasion (Knopf).

The Foundation, established by Harry Guggenheim in 1929 to study the predisposing qualities that lead humankind to commit acts of "violence, domination and aggression," has always numbered the history of warfare among its primary research interests. In addition to the Foundation, funding for the prize is also being provided by Lewis E. Lehrman, co-founder of the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History, author, and champion of studies in American political and military history.

The judging panel for the prize comprises:

  • Andrew Roberts, Ph.D., British historian and journalist, Committee Chair
  • Charles F. Brower IV, Ph.D., Brigadier General, USA Retd, Henry King Burgwyn Professor of Military History, Virginia Military Institute
  • Josiah Bunting III, President of the HF Guggenheim Foundation; Recording Secretary to the Committee
  • Flora Fraser, author, Chair of the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography and founder of the Elizabeth Longford Grants for Historical Biography
  • W. Patrick Lang, former head of Middle East, South Asian, and Counter-Terrorist affairs in the Defense Intelligence Agency
  • Ralph Peters, Lt. Col., USA Retd, author and Fox News Strategic Analyst
  • Sir Hew Strachan, Ph.D., Chichele Professor in the History of War, All Souls, Oxford University

Almost 100 books were submitted for consideration by publishers in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. The Prize will be awarded annually in recognition of the best book in the field of military history published in English during the previous calendar year.

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