The George Washington Book Prize is one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious literary awards. Now in its tenth year, the $50,000 George Washington Book Prize honors its namesake by recognizing the year’s best new books on early American history. The prize ranks among the largest and most prestigious honors in the publishing industry.

George Washington's Mount Vernon is proud to announce seven finalists for the prestigious George Washington Prize. The annual award recognizes the past year’s best written works on the nation’s founding era, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of early American history.

The 2016 George Washington Prize finalists are:

Mary Sarah Bilder, Madison's Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention (Harvard University Press)

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Kathleen DuVal, Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution (Random House)

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Flora Fraser, The Washingtons: George and Martha, “Join’d by Friendship, Crown’d by Love" (Knopf)

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Robert Middlekauff, Washington’s Revolution: The Making of America’s First Leader (Knopf)

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Janet Polasky, Revolutions Without Borders: The Call to Liberty in the Atlantic World (Yale University Press)

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David Preston, Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution (Oxford University Press)

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John Sedgwick, War of Two: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Duel that Stunned the Nation (Penguin)

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Past Winners

  2015
Nick Bunker,
An Empire on Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America (Knopf)
2014
Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy,
The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire (Yale)
2013
Stephen Brumwell,
George Washington: Gentleman Warrior (Quercus)
2012
Maya Jasanoff,
Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World (Knopf)
2011
Pauline Maier,
Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1789 (Simon & Schuster)
2010
Richard Beeman, 
Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution(Random House)
2009
Annette Gordon-Reed, 
The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family ( Norton)
2008
Marcus Rediker,
The Slave Ship: A Human History(Viking)
2007
Charles Rappleye,
Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade, and the American Revolution (Simon & Schuster)
2006
Stacy Schiff,
A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America(Henry Holt)
2005
Ron Chernow,
Alexander Hamilton (Penguin Press)

 

Browse our collection of previous winners and nominees of the George Washington Book Prize.

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About the George Washington Book Prize

The George Washington Book Prize is one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious literary awards. Now in its tenth year, the $50,000 George Washington Book Prize honors its namesake by recognizing the year’s best new books on early American history. The prize ranks among the largest and most prestigious honors in the publishing industry.

The three institutions that sponsor the prize — Washington College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and George Washington's Mount Vernon — are devoted to furthering historical scholarship that contributes to the public understanding of the American past.

Beyond merely promoting new scholarly works and research developments, the award pays special attention to works that have the potential to inspire the public at large to learn more about American history.

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