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Starr Center for the


Study of the American Experience

The George Washington Prize recognizes the year’s best works on the nation’s founding era, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of American history.

Seven authors have been chosen as finalists for the 2018 George Washington Prize

Their books range in topic from the Burr conspiracy to Patrick Henry, from the power of objects to the Boston Massacre.

CHESTERTOWN, MD – Seven books published in 2017 by the country’s most prominent historians have been named finalists for the George Washington Prize. The annual award recognizes the past year’s best-written works on the nation’s founding era, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of early American history. 

“Understanding the first chapter of our national story is more essential today than ever,” said Adam Goodheart, director of Washington College’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, one of the prize’s three cosponsors. “These books reconnect us with ideas that made the United States a beacon for democratic movements around the world.”  

Created in 2005 by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and Washington College, the $50,000 George Washington Prize is one of the nation’s largest and most notable literary awards.

The finalists’ books combine depth of scholarship and broad expanse of inquiry with vivid prose that exposes the complexities of our founding narrative. Written to engage a wide public audience, the books provide a “go-to” reading list for anyone interested in learning more about George Washington, his contemporaries, and the founding of the United States of America.

Read full press release.

About the Prize

The George Washington Prize honors the year’s best new works on early American history, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of American history. Created in 2005, the George Washington Prize was presented that year to Ron Chernow for Alexander Hamilton. One of the nation’s largest literary awards, the prestigious $50,000 Prize is sponsored by Washington College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

Each year, a three member jury chooses prize finalists who are announced on George Washington’s birthday. A final selection committee reviews the finalists and chooses a winner.

Contact Information

Stephen McLeod
E-mail: smcleod@mountvernon.org
Telephone: 703-780-3600
George Washington Prize
Fred W. Smith National Library
George Washington’s Mount Vernon
3600 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway
Mount Vernon, VA 22121