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New-York Historical Society Awards the Annual American History Book Prize to Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy for The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution and the Fate of the Empire

$50,000 Prize and Title of American Historian Laureate to Be Presented at the Weekend with History Gala, Friday, April 11, 2014

New York, NY, March 5, 2014 —Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, announced today that historian Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy will receive New-York Historical’s annual American History Book Prize for The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution and the Fate of the Empire (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013; London: Oneworld Publications, 2013). He will be presented with a $50,000 cash award, an engraved medal and the title of American Historian Laureate on April 11, 2014, during a black-tie dinner celebrating New-York Historical's ninth annual Chairman's Council Weekend with History event.

Pam Schafler, Chair of the New-York Historical Society's Board of Trustees, stated:“The Men Who Lost America, meticulously researched and beautifully written, embodies all the qualities we expect in the winner of the American History Book Prize. By recasting the narrative of the British loss against a background of political rivalry and Parliamentary debate, O’Shaughnessy turns a familiar story into a suspenseful read.”

Stated Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society: “Andrew O'Shaughnessy's book provides fresh perspective and insight into Britain’s stunning defeat, with new research that pushes forward the frontiers of knowledge about the British generals who lost the American revolutionary war.”

Considered a universal favorite of the year by a Prize Committee comprised of historians and New-York Historical leadership, The Men Who Lost America was selected from a field of 142 submissions.

The book tells the story of the British generals who lost the American Revolution while capturing the magnitude of the American achievement in rebelling against the global superpower of the day. The Men Who Lost America establishes that the British leadership was not composed of aristocratic dilettantes and buffoons that the mythology portrays. The British succeeded in capturing every American city at some stage of the Revolutionary War. It was never a war of linear defeats but, rather, closely contended until the very end. Disagreements between Lord North, the Howe brothers, Henry Clinton, Cornwallis and others were ultimately translated into strategies that lost the war for the British and allowed the establishment of a new and independent nation.

“I am thrilled and honored to receive the New-York Historical Society’s American History Book Prize for 2014,” Andrew O’Shaughnessy stated. “This award has become in a few short years one of the most prestigious history book prizes in the nation, and I am deeply grateful and humbled by becoming its recipient.”

Andrew O’Shaughnessy is the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, as well as a Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He is also the author of An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean (2000). He is an editor of the Jeffersonian American Series of the University of Virginia Press; a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. O'Shaughnessy is a dual citizen of Britain and the United States. He received his undergraduate degree and doctorate from Oxford University. He lives in Charlottesville, VA.

The American History Book Prize was previously awarded to Doris Kearns Goodwin for Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (2006); David Nasaw for Andrew Carnegie (2007); Daniel Walker Howe for What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848 (2008); Drew Gilpin Faust for This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (2009); Gordon S. Wood for Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815 (2010); Ron Chernow for George Washington: A Life (2011); John Lewis Gaddis for George F. Kennan: An American Life (2012); and Robert Caro for Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power (2013).

Weekend with History is organized by the Chairman's Council of New-York Historical and features two days of informal conversations and presentations by leading scholars and cultural figures. The Chairman's Council is comprised of New-York Historical's most committed supporters. Individuals may be invited to join the Council by New-York Historical Trustees and senior staff and by current members of the Council. Annual dues are $5,000 (Member), $10,000 (Vice Chair), and $25,000 (Co-Chair). For more information on Weekend with History or the Chairman's Council, please contact Mehgan Baum at (212) 485-9221 or mehgan.baum@nyhistory.org.

Participants in Weekend With History 2014
(Friday, April 11, and Saturday, April 12, 2014)

AKHIL REED AMAR
Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University

PHILIP C. BOBBITT
Herbert Wechsler Professor of Jurisprudence, Columbia University

DAVID BROOKS
Columnist, The New York Times

RIC BURNS
Documentary Filmmaker

MICHAEL DUFFY
Deputy Managing Editor, TIME magazine

ERIC FONER
Dewitt Clinton Professor of History, Columbia University

NANCY GIBBS
Managing Editor, TIME magazine

HAROLD HOLZER
Roger Hertog Fellow, New-York Historical Society

JOHN H. MAURER
Alfred Thayer Mahan Professor of Sea Power and Grand Strategy, Naval War College

LESLEY STAHL
60 MINUTES, CBS News Correspondent

SEAN WILENTZ
George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History, Princeton University

About the New-York Historical Society
The New-York Historical Society, one of America's pre-eminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research and presenting history and art exhibitions and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered history of New York City and State and the country, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history.

New-York Historical is recognized for engaging the public with deeply researched and far-ranging exhibitions, such as Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America; Slavery in New York; Drawn by New York: Six Centuries of Watercolors and Drawings at the New-York Historical Society; Grant and Lee in War and Peace; Lincoln and New York; Nueva York (1613 – 1945); WWII & NYC and The Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution. Supporting these exhibitions and related education programs is one of the world's greatest collections of historical artifacts, works of American art, and other materials documenting the history of the United States and New York.

Exhibitions on view this spring at New-York Historical include Bill Cunningham: Facades, exploring the photographer’s eight-year project documenting the architectural riches and fashion history of New York City; The Black Fives, an exhibition exploring the pioneering history of the African American basketball teams that existed from the early 1900s through 1950, the year the National Basketball Association became racially integrated; Audubon’s Aviary: Parts Unknown (Part II of The Complete Flock), the second of three exhibitions offering an unprecedented opportunity to witness the evolution of John James Audubon’s watercolors in the order in which they were engraved; and Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War, offering a new perspective on the most divisive period in American history.

Media Contact
Laura Washington
New-York Historical Society
(212) 873-3400 x263
lwashington@nyhistory.org
 

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