Previous winners of the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize

Previous winners of and finalists for the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize.


First Place: Varon, Elizabeth R., Armies of Deliverance: A New History of the Civil War


  • Eric Foner, The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution
  • Matthew Fox-Amato, Exposing Slavery: Photography, Human Bondage, and the Birth of Modern Visual Politics in America
  • Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers, They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South
  • W. Caleb McDaniel, Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America
  • Jessie Morgan-Owens, Girl in Black and White: The Story of Mary Mildred Williams and the Abolition Movement
  • Joseph P. Reidy, Illusions of Emancipation: The Pursuit of Freedom and Equality in the Twilight of Slavery
  • David Silkenat, Raising the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the American Civil War (University of North Carolina Press)


First Place: Blight, David, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom


  • Blackett, Richard J. M., The Captive’s Quest for Freedom: Fugitive Slaves, the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, and the Politics of Slavery
  • Freehling, William W., Becoming Lincoln
  • Freeman, Joanne B., The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War
  • Sommerville, Diane Miller, Aberration of Mind: Suicide and Suffering in the Civil War–Era South


First Place: Ayers, Edward, The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America


  • Chernow, Ron, Grant
  • Hunter, Tere, Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century
  • Lineberry, Cate, Be Free or Die: The Amazing Story of Robert Smalls' Escape from Slavery to Union Hero
  • Peck, Graham A., Making an Antislavery Nation Lincoln, Douglas and the Battle over Freedom
  • Rhea, Gordon, On to Petersburg: Grant and Lee, June 4-15, 1864
  • Smith, Adam I. P., The Stormy Present: Conservatism and the Problem of Slavery in Northern Politics, 1846–1865


First Place:

  • James B. Conroy, Lincoln’s White House: The People’s House in Wartime
  • Douglas R. Egerton, Thunder at the Gates: The Black Civil War Regiments That Redeemed America


  • D. H. Dilbeck, A More Civil War: How the Union Waged a Just War
  • Chandra Manning, Troubled Refuge: Struggling for Freedom in the Civil War
  • Charles B. Strozier, Your Friend Forever, A. Lincoln: The Enduring Friendship of Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed

Special Achievement Award: Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, eds., Herndon on Lincoln: Letters


First Place: Martha Hodes, Mourning Lincoln


  • Michael Anderegg, Lincoln and Shakespeare
  • Eric Foner for Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad
  • Richard Wightman Fox for Lincoln’s Body: A Cultural History
  • Earl J. Hess for Civil War Infantry Tactics: Training, Combat, and Small-Unit Effectiveness
  • Jonathan D. Sarna and Benjamin Shapell for Lincoln and the Jews: A History
  • John Stauffer, Zoe Trodd, and Celeste-Marie Bernier for Picturing Frederick Douglass: An Illustrated Biography of the Nineteenth Century’s Most Photographed American


First Place: Harold Holzer, Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion


  • William Blair – With Malice Toward Some: Treason and Loyalty in the Civil War Era
  • Richard Brookhiser – Founders’ Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln
  • James B. Conroy – Our One Common Country: Abraham Lincoln and the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of 1865
  • Joshua Zeitz – Lincoln’s Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln’s Image


First Place:

  • Allen C. Guelzo, Gettysburg: The Last Invasion
  • Martin P. Johnson, Writing the Gettysburg Address

Special Achievement Award: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln


  • Christopher Hager, Word by Word: Emancipation and the Act of Writing
  • Margaret Humphreys, Marrow of Tragedy: The Health Crisis of the American Civil War
  • Robert E. May, Slavery, Race, and Conquest in the Tropics: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Future of Latin America
  • John Stauffer and Benjamin Soskis, The Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Biography of the Song That Marches On


First Place: James Oakes, Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States,1861–1865


  • Stephen Kantrowitz, More Than Freedom: Fighting for Black Citizenship in a White Republic, 1829–1889
  • Yael A. Sternhell, Routes of War: The World of Movement in the Confederate South


First Place:

  • William C. Harris, Lincoln and the Border States: Preserving the Union
  • Elizabeth D. Leonard, Lincoln’s Forgotten Ally: Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt of Kentucky

Honorable Mention: Barbara A. Gannon, The Won Cause: Black and White Comradeship in the Grand Army of the Republic


First Place: Eric Foner, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

Honorable Mentions:

  • Robert Bray, Reading with Lincoln
  • Lorien Foote, The Gentlemen and the Roughs: Violence, Honor and Manhood in the Union Army
  • Mark W. Geiger, Financial Fraud and the Guerilla Violence in Missouri’s Civil War, 1861–1865
  • Stanley Harrold, Border War: Fighting Over Slavery Before the Civil War
  • Kate Masur, An Example of All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington D.C.
  • Howard Jones, Blue and Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations


First Place: Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life


  • Robert McGlone, John Brown’s War Against Slavery
  • Mark Wahlgren Summers, A Dangerous Stir: Fear, Paranoia, and the Making of Reconstruction


First Place:

  • James McPherson, Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief
  • Craig Symonds, Lincoln and His Admirals: Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. Navy, and the Civil War

Honorable Mentions:

  • Jacqueline Jones, Saving Savannah: The City and the Civil War
  • Fred Kaplan, Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer and William Lee Miller, President Lincoln: The Duty of a Statesman


First Place:

  • James Oakes, The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics
  • Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters

Finalist: Robert Cooke, Troubled Commemoration: The American Civil War Centennial, 1961–1965

Honorable Mention: Chandra Manning, What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War


First Place: Douglas L. Wilson, Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words


  • Martha Hodes, The Sea Captain’s Wife: A True Story of Love, Race, and War in the Nineteenth Century
  • Harry S. Stout, Upon the Alter of the Nation: A Moral History of the Civil War


First Place: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln


  • Ronald White, The Eloquent President: A Portrait of Lincoln Through his Words
  • Steven Woodworth, Nothing But Victory: The Army of Tennessee 1961–1865
  • Sean Wilentz, The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln

Honorable Mentions:

  • Carol Bundy, The Nature of Sacrifice: A Biography of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr., 1835–1864
  • Margaret Creighton, The Colors of Courage: Gettysburg’s Forgotten History - Immigrants, Women, and African Americans in the Civil War’s Defining Battle
  • Richard F. Miller, Harvard’s Civil War: A History of the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry


First Place: Allen C. Guelzo, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation

Second Place: Harold Holzer, Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President


  • Jonathan D. Martin, Divided Mastery: Slave Hiring in the American South
  • Jane A. Schultz, Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America


First Place: Richard J. Carwardine, Lincoln

Special Achievement Award: John Y. Simon for editing 26 volumes—to date—of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant

Finalist: Steven Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration


First Place: George C. Rable, Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!

Second Place: John Stauffer, The Black Hearts of Men: Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race

Honorable Mention: Michael Fitzgerald, Urban Emancipation: Popular Politics in Reconstruction Mobile, 1860–1890

E-Lincoln Prize: John Adler for HarpWeek Presents Lincoln and the Civil (website)


First Place: David Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory,

Honorable Mention:

  • Alice Fahs, The Imagined Civil War: Popular Literature of the North & South, 1861–1865
  • Kenneth J. Winkle, The Young Eagle: The Rise of Abraham Lincoln


First Place: Russell F. Weigley, A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861–1865

Second Place: Leonard L. Richards, The Slave Power: The Free North and Southern Domination, 1780–1860

Finalist: Mark L. Bradley, This Astounding Close Road to Bennett Place,

E-Lincoln Prize Winner: Edward L. Ayers, Anne S. Rubin, and William G. Thomas for Valley of the Shadow: The Eve of War (CD-ROM)

E-Lincoln Prize Second Place: Stephen Railton for Uncle Tom’s Cabin and American Culture (web site)


First Place:

  • John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger, Runaway Slaves: Rebels in the Plantation
  • Allen C. Guelzo, Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President

Second Place: Michael Holt, The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War

Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard N. Current, University Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro


First Place: Douglas L. Wilson, Honor’s Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln

Second Place: J. Tracy Power, Lee’s Miserables: Life in the Army of Northern Virginia, from the Wilderness to Appomattox


First Place: Jim McPherson, For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War

Second Place: William C. Harris, With Charity For All: Lincoln and the Restoration of the Union

Honorable Mentions:

  • Gary Gallagher, The Confederate War: How Popular Will, Nationalism, and Military Strategy Could Not Stave off Defeat
  • James Robertson, Jr., Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend


First Place: Don Fehrenbacher, Lifetime Achievement with special recognition of Prelude to Greatness: Lincoln in the 1850s and The Dred Scott Case: Its Significance in American Law and Politics


First Place: David Donald, Lincoln.

Second Place: Mark Grimsley, The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians 1861–1865

Finalist: Michael Fellman, Citizen Sherman: A Life of William Tecumseh Sherman


First Place: Phillip Shaw Paludan, The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln

Second Place: William Marvel, Andersonville: The Last Depot

Finalist: Charles B. Dew, Bond of Iron: Master and Slave at Buffalo Forge


First Place: Ira Berlin, Barbara Fields, Steven Miller, Joseph Reidy, Leslie Rowland, eds., Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom, and the Civil War

Second Place: Reid Mitchell, The Vacant Chair: The Northern Soldier Leaves Home


  • Winthrop D. Jordan, Tumult and Silence at Second Creek: An Inquiry into a Civil War Slave Conspiracy
  • John Evangelist Walsh, The Shadows Rise: Abraham Lincoln and the Anne Rutledge Legend


First Place: Kenneth Stampp, Lifetime Achievement with special recognition of The Peculiar Institution

Second Place: Albert Castel, Decision in the West: The Atlanta Campaign of 1864


  • John F. Marszalek, Sherman: A Soldier’s Passion for Order (Vintage Books)
  • Craig L. Symonds Joseph E. Johnston, A Civil War Biography


First Place:

  • William S. McFeely, Frederick Douglass
  • Charles Royster, The Destructive War: William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson, and the Americans

Finalist: Ira Berlin, et al., Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation 1861–1867: Series I, Volume III, The Wartime Genesis of Free Labor: The Lower South


First Place: Ken Burns, The Civil War


  • Mark E. Neely, Jr., The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties
  • Warren Wilkinson, Mother May You Never See The Sights I Have Seen: The Fifty-Seventh Massachusetts Veteran Volunteers in the Last Year of the Civil War