The American Civil War Museum is pleased to announce that Adam Rothman’s Beyond Freedom’s Reach: A Kidnapping in the Twilight of Slavery, published by Harvard University Press, is the recipient of the 46th annual Jefferson Davis Award. The award honors outstanding scholarship on the origins, life, and legacies of the Confederate States of America and the American Civil War.
Dr. Adam Rothman earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University and is associate professor at Georgetown University, where he has taught since 2000. He is also the author of Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South (Harvard University Press, 2005).
The award judges praised Beyond Freedom’s Reach as “a micro-history that gets at …the most important story of the Confederate Era, the end of slavery and the struggle for emancipation as it played out in the lives of men and women and their families….Viewing the slow and tentative crumbling of slavery through the eyes of Rose Herera, we understand it that much better. Rothman moves smoothly back and forth from a wide-angled lens to a sharp focus on those few tantalizing documents that recorded Herera’s existence, providing just the right contexts, just the right additional examples to flesh things out.” The judges cited Rothman’s book for its literary merits as well as its outstanding scholarship.
The judges named two finalists for the 2015 Davis Award: Don H. Doyle’s The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War, published by Basic Books, and Brian Craig Miller’s Empty Sleeves: Amputation in the Civil War South, published by the University of Georgia Press.
Presented by the Museum since 1971, the Jefferson Davis Award consists of a framed certificate bearing a red wax impression made from the original Great Seal of the Confederacy and a cash prize. The recipient is decided by an independent jury of scholars. The judges for the 2015 award are Dr. Paul Quigley of Virginia Tech, Dr. Barton Myers of Washington and Lee University, and Dr. Barbara Gannon of the University of Central Florida.
The Museum is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Jefferson Davis Award and the 2015-2016 Founders Award (given for outstanding editing of primary source materials). Please contact Dr. John M. Coski at *protected email* for details.