John C. McManus Wins 2020 Gilder Lehrman Military History Prize

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Dutton Caliber author John C. McManus has been awarded the seventh annual Gilder Lehrman Prize for Military History for FIRE AND FORTITUDE: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943. The $50,000 prize is bestowed annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in recognition of the best book in the field of military history published in English during the previous calendar year. A program celebrating the winner and the shortlisted authors was recorded and released on Thursday, November 5.

“This year the Gilder Lehrman Institute Military History Prize judges were unanimous in awarding the $50,000 prize to John McManus’s splendid FIRE AND FORTITUDE: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-43,” said Professor Andrew Roberts, chair of the judging committee. “We were hugely impressed with all the six books on our shortlist, but McManus’s work stood out, and it more than satisfied each of our four key criteria, which are that it must be historically ground-breaking, excellently researched, extremely well written, and accessible to the general reader.”

“McManus’s FIRE AND FORTITUDE is military history at its best, vividly narrated, full of human drama and heroism, restoring to view a painful but important dimension of the American fight in the Pacific in World War II. Every student of history will find it riveting,” observed James Basker, president of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this year’s Gilder Lehrman Prize for Military History,” stated John C. McManus. “As a professional military historian, I have long revered this award for its leading role in the recognition of cutting edge work in the field. I want to express my sincere thanks to the jurors, the Gilder Lehrman Institute, and the New-York Historical Society.”

McManus continued, “In writing FIRE AND FORTITUDE, my intention was to broaden our historical perspective and enhance our understanding of the Pacific/Asia theater in World War II, and my hope is that this remarkable literary recognition will help further that objective.”

The intent of the Gilder Lehrman Prize for Military History at the New-York Historical Society is to draw public attention to military history not only as an important staple of education in the areas of international relations, diplomacy, and conflict studies, but also as a subject in which any educated citizen should be interested. The study of the steps to war, conduct of military campaigns, and diplomatic responses to war can play an essential role in the quest for a more peaceable future.

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, at the core of which is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history, with more than 75,000 primary source documents.

Posted: November 14, 2020