History: Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight
The first major biography of Frederick Douglass in 25 years, David W. Blight’s Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom explores new materials that were previously unavailable to other biographers. The book was named one of the best books of the year by a number of outlets, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. History professors and authors Annette Gordon-Reed (a former Pulitzer winner herself), Tiya Miles, and Marcus Rediker served as the jury that selected Blight’s work, a book the board called “a breathtaking history that demonstrates the scope of Frederick Douglass’ influence through deep research on his writings, his intellectual evolution and his relationships.”
“Mr. Blight displays his lifelong interest in Douglass on almost every page, and his own voice is active and eloquent throughout the narrative. It is a book that speaks to our own time as well as Douglass’s,” writes John Stauffer in The Wall Street Journal.
History finalists: American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic by Victoria Johnson and Civilizing Torture: An American Tradition by W. Fitzhugh Brundage.