Daniel W. Crofts Wins Nau Book Prize
The John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia is pleased to name Daniel W. Crofts’s Lincoln and the Politics of Slavery: The Other Thirteenth Amendment and the Struggle to Save the Union (University of North Carolina Press, 2016) as the winner of the 2017 Bobbie and John Nau Book Prize in American Civil War Era History. Professor Emeritus of History at the College of New Jersey, Crofts illuminates the little-known attempt in early 1861 to pass a thirteenth amendment that would have prevented Congress from interfering with slavery, arguing that although Lincoln would go on to become the “Great Emancipator,” he did not enter the presidency aspiring to that title. Instead, it would take several months of increasingly hard war to develop his statecraft and transform the vision that had led him to support the original thirteenth amendment, the exact opposite of its 1865 successor. The judging committee (Stephen B. Cushman, Caroline E. Janney, and Earl J. Hess) chose Lincoln and the Politics of Slavery unanimously, finding it to be the most original and compelling of the entries in a very strong pool of titles for this year. The prize carries with it a $25,000 award and will be conferred at a dinner at UVA in the fall of 2017.