Goodheart Elected to Society of American Historians
Adam Goodheart, the director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College and a New York Times bestselling author, has been elected to the Society of American Historians, which honors leading members of the profession “based on their demonstrated commitment to literary distinction in the writing and presentation of history and biography.” The Society’s very limited membership includes both academic historians and others, from poets to filmmakers, whose work deals with American history. In addition to Goodheart, the 19 members elected this year include essayist Ta-Nehisi Coates, novelists Edward P. Jones and Francine Prose, critic Margo Jefferson, journalists Thomas Powers and Eric Alterman, and scholars Khalil Muhammad and Marcus Rediker. They will officially be inducted at the Society’s annual dinner on May 16th at Century Association in New York City.
“Being elected to the Society of American Historians is one of the most meaningful distinctions I can imagine,” Goodheart said. “The Society’s membership, past and present, includes so many of the writers – not just scholars, but also novelists, poets, journalists, biographers – whom I most admire. These are the people whose books have been my teachers as I strive to develop my own craft.”
Founded in 1939 by noted historian and journalist Allan Nevins and several fellow scholars, the Society of American Historians is based at Columbia University and confers several of the most prestigious awards in the profession, including the annual Francis Parkman Prize. According to its mission statement, the Society seeks to honor those whose work “is marked by vividness, clarity, empathy, narrative power, and explanatory force.”
Since 2006, Goodheart has been the Starr Center’s Hodson Trust-Griswold Director, as well as a lecturer in History and American Studies. His articles frequently appear in National Geographic, the New York Times, and other publications, and his book 1861: The Civil War Awakening was published by Knopf in 2011 and as a Vintage paperback the following year. He is a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians and an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society.