Join Washington College, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and George Washington's Mount Vernon for the live announcement of the winner of the 2020 George Washington Prize.

The George Washington Prize is one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious literary awards, recognizing the year’s best new books on early American history.

Add to Calendar 09/25/2020 12:00:00 09/25/2020 13:00:00 America/New_York 2020 George Washington Prize Announcement

Join Washington College, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and George Washington's Mount Vernon for the live announcement of the winner of the 2020 George Washington Prize.

The George Washington Prize is one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious literary awards, recognizing the year’s best new books on early American history.

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2020 George Washington Prize Finalists

  • Rick Atkinson, The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777 (Henry Holt)
  • Richard Bell, Stolen: Five Free Boys Stolen into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home (37Ink)
  • Matthew R. Costello, The Property of the Nation: George Washington’s Tomb, Mount Vernon, and the Memory of the First President (University of Kansas Press)
  • Douglas Egerton, Heirs of an Honored Name: The Decline of the Adams Family and the Rise of Modern America (Basic Books)
  • Richard Godbeer, World of Trouble: A Philadelphia Quaker Family’s Journey through the American Revolution (Yale University Press)
  • David Head, A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution (Pegasus Books)
  • Martha Saxton, The Widow Washington: The Life of Mary Washington (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

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About the Prize

The annual award recognizes the past year’s best works on the nation’s founding era, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of early American history. Created by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and Washington College, the $50,000 George Washington Prize is one of the nation’s largest and most notable literary awards. Written to engage a wide public audience, the selected books provide a “go-to” reading list for anyone interested in learning more about George Washington, his contemporaries, and the founding of the United States of America.

About the Sponsors

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Now celebrating its twenty-fifth year, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History was founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, visionaries and lifelong supporters of American history education. The Institute is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to K–12 history education while also serving the general public. Its mission is to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational programs and resources.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is supported through the generosity of individuals, corporations, and foundations. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Organization of American Historians, and the Council of Independent Colleges. Learn more at gilderlehrman.org.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Since 1860, more than 85 million visitors have made George Washington’s Mount Vernon the most popular historic home in America. Through thought-provoking tours, entertaining events, and stimulating educational programs on the estate and in classrooms across the nation, Mount Vernon strives to preserve George Washington’s place in history as “First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen.” Mount Vernon is owned and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, America’s oldest national preservation organization, founded in 1853. In 2013, Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association opened the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, which safeguards original books and manuscripts and serves as a center for research, scholarship, and leadership development. Learn more at mountvernon.org.

Washington College

Washington College was founded in 1782, the first institution of higher learning established in the new republic. George Washington was not only a principal donor to the college, but also a member of its original governing board. He received an honorary degree from the college in June 1789, two months after assuming the presidency. The college’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience explores the American experience in all its diversity and complexity, seeks creative approaches to illuminating the past, and inspires thoughtful conversation informed by history. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

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