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2008 Bancroft Prize

This close look at the Bancroft Prize was written by Susan Ferber, Executive Editor, to celebrate Charles Postel’s achievement.

Oxford University Press is pleased to announce that Charles Postel has been named the winner of a 2008 Bancroft Prize for his first book, The Populist Vision. One of the most prestigious honors a work of American history can receive, this award is considered by many on par with the Pulitzer Prize. The Bancroft Prize is given annually by Columbia University to two or three distinguished works in the fields of American history, biography, and diplomacy. It was established in 1948 from a bequest from Frederic Bancroft, historian and librarian at the Department of State. Past winners include some of the nation’s best-known historians, including Allan Nevins, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., C. Vann Woodward, and Samuel Eliot Morrison.

Charles Postel is Assistant Professor of History at California State University, Sacramento. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002. The Journal of American History recently offered this praise: “It is rare that a book comes along with the power to redefine the parameters of a major historiographical debate…. This is the most important book on Populism in thirty years…. Masterfully researched in an astonishingly broad array of primary and secondary sources, and written in a clear, compelling style, The Populist Vision propels its author into the first rank of American political historians.” The book will also be awarded the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize of the Organization of American Historians for best first book in American history.

The Populist Vision is the twentieth book published by Oxford University Press to win the Bancroft Prize. We offer our congratulations to all Bancroft Prize-winning Oxford history titles, past and present.

1961: The Jefferson Image in the American Mind by Merrill D. Peterson

1969: Woodrow Wilson and World Politics by N. Gordon Levin Jr.

1971: The Image Empire: A History of Broadcasting in the United States, Volume III: From 1953 by Erik Barnouw

1972: The Mathers: Three Generations of Puritan Intellectuals, 1596-1728 by Robert Middlekauff
The European Discovery of America: The Northern Voyages by Samuel Eliot Morison

1973: Booker T. Washington by Louis R. Harlan

1974: Frederick Jackson Turner: Historian, Scholar, Teacher by Ray Allen Billington

1979: Allies of a Kind: The United States, Britain, and the War Against Japan, 1941-1945 by Christopher Thorne

1980: Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945 by Robert Dallek
Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930’s by Donald Worster

1983: Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England by John Putnam Demos

1984: Booker T. Washington: The Wizard of Tuskegee, 1901-1915 by Louis Harlan

1986: Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States by Kenneth T. Jackson

1993: Margaret Fuller: An American Romantic Life, Volume I: The Private Years by Charles Capper

1994: The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic, 1788-1800 by Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick

1997: Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974 by James T. Patterson

2002: In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th Century America by Alice Kessler-Harris

2005: From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality by Michael J. Klarman

2008: The Populist Vision by Charles Postel

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