Previous Winners

2018

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

Finalists:
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

2017

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 (Basic Books)

Finalists:
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

2016
First Place:
Martha Hodes, Mourning Lincoln

Finalists:
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

2015
First Place:

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

Finalists:
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

2014
First Place:

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

Special Achievement Award:
Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"

Finalists:
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

2013 
First Place
James Oakes, Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States,1861-1865

Finalists
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

2012
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

2011
First Place:

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

Honorable Mention:
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

2010
First Place:

Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life

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

2009
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 Mention:
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

2008
First Place:

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

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 (Alfred A. Knopf)

2007
First Place:
Douglas L. Wilson, Lincoln's Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words (Vintage)

Finalists:
Martha Hodes, The Sea Captain's Wife: A True Story of Love, Race, and War in the Nineteenth Century (W. W. Norton)
Harry S. Stout, Upon the Alter of the Nation: A Moral History of the Civil War (Viking Adult)

2006
First Place: 
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (Simon & Schuster)

Finalists: 
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 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Margaret Creighton, The Colors of Courage: Gettysburg's Forgotten History - Immigrants, Women, and African Americans in the Civil War's Defining Battle (Basic Books)
Richard F. Miller, Harvard's Civil War: A History of the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (University Press of New England)

2005
First Place: 
Allen C. Guelzo, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation (Simon & Schuster)

Second Place: 
Harold Holzer, Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President (Simon & Schuster)

Finalists: 
Jonathan D. Martin, Divided Mastery: Slave Hiring in the American South (Harvard University Press)
Jane A. Schultz, Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America (University of North Carolina Press)

2004
First Place: 
Richard J. Carwardine, Lincoln (Pearson Education Ltd.)

Special Achievement Award: 
John Y. Simon for editing 26 volumes--to date--of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant (Southern Illinois University Press)

Finalist: 
Steven Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet:  Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration (Belknap Press/Harvard University Press)

2003
First Place: 
George C. Rable, Fredericksburg!  Fredericksburg! (University of North Carolina Press)

Second Place: 
John Stauffer, The Black Hearts of Men:  Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race (Harvard University Press)

Honorable Mention: 
Michael Fitzgerald, Urban Emancipation:  Popular Politics in Reconstruction Mobile, 1860-1890 (Louisiana State University Press)

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

2002
First Place: 
David Blight, Race and Reunion:  The Civil War in American Memory, (Harvard University Press)

Honorable Mention:
Alice Fahs,  The Imagined Civil War: Popular Literature of the North & South, 1861-1865 (University of North Carolina Press)
Kenneth J. Winkle, The Young Eagle:  The Rise of Abraham Lincoln (Taylor Trade Publishing, Dallas)                                   

2001
First Place:
Russell F. Weigley, A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861-1865 (Indiana University Press) 

Second Place:
Leonard L. Richards, The Slave Power: The Free North and Southern Domination, 1780-1860 (Louisiana State University Press)

Finalist:
Mark L. Bradley, This Astounding Close Road to Bennett Place, (University of North Carolina Press)

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)

Second Place:
Stephen Railton for Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture (web site)

2000 
First Place:
John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger, Runaway Slaves: Rebels in the Plantation (Oxford University Press)
Allen C. Guelzo, Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)

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

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

1999
First Place:
Douglas L. Wilson, Honor's Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln (Alfred A. Knopf)

Second Place:
J. Tracy Power, Lee's Miserables: Life in the Army of Northern Virginia, from the Wilderness to Appomattox (Univ. of North Carolina Press)

1998
First Place:
Jim McPherson, For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War (Oxford University Press)

Second Place:
William C. Harris, With Charity For All: Lincoln and the Restoration of the Union (University Press of Kentucky)

Honorable Mention:
Gary Gallagher, The Confederate War: How Popular Will, Nationalism, and Military Strategy Could Not Stave off Defeat (Harvard University Press)
James Robertson, Jr., Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend (MacMillan Publishing Co)

1997
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 (Stanford University Press)

1996
First Place:
David Donald, Lincoln (Touchstone Books).

Second Place:
Mark Grimsley, The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians 1861-1865 (Cambridge University Press)

Finalist:
Michael Fellman, Citizen Sherman: A Life of William Tecumseh Sherman (Random House)

1995
First Place:
Phillip Shaw Paludan, The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln (University Press of Kansas)

Second Place:
William Marvel, Andersonville: The Last Depot (University of North Carolina Press)

Finalist:
Charles B. Dew, Bond of Iron: Master and Slave at Buffalo Forge (W.W. Norton & Company)

1994
First Place: (co-winners)
Ira Berlin, Barbara Fields, Steven Miller, Joseph Reidy, Leslie Rowland, eds., Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom, and the Civil War (New Press)

Second Place:
Reid Mitchell, The Vacant Chair: The Northern Soldier Leaves Home (Oxford University Press)

Finalist:
Winthrop D. Jordan, Tumult and Silence at Second Creek: An Inquiry into a Civil War Slave Conspiracy (Louisiana State University Press)
John Evangelist Walsh, The Shadows Rise: Abraham Lincoln and the Anne Rutledge Legend (University of Illinois Press)

1993
First Place:
Kenneth Stampp, Lifetime Achievement with special recognition of The Peculiar Institution (Vintage Books)

Second Place:
Albert Castel, Decision in the West: The Atlanta Campaign of 1864 (University Press of Kansas)

Finalist:
John F. Marszalek, Sherman: A Soldier's Passion for Order (Vintage Books)
Craig L. Symonds Joseph E. Johnston, A Civil War Biography (W.W. Norton & Company)

1992
First Place: (split equally)
William S. McFeely, Frederick Douglass (W.W. Norton & Company)
Charles Royster, The Destructive War: William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson, and the Americans (Vintage Books)

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 (New Press)

1991
First Place:
Ken Burns, The Civil War (Howell Press)

Finalist:
Mark E. Neely, Jr., The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties (Oxford University Press)
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 (HarperCollins)