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    Photo Doug Egerton

    November 06, 2017

    Book by Le Moyne History Professor Doug Egerton Recognized with 2017 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize

    Thunder at the Gates: The Black Civil War Regiments That Redeemed America, the ninth book by Le Moyne History Professor Doug Egerton, Ph.D., has been awarded the 2017 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize. The Lincoln Prize is awarded annually by Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History for works that enhances the general public’s understanding of the Civil War era.

    "I was both stunned and extremely flattered to get the news," said Dr. Egerton. "The previous winners are scholars whose books I've assigned in classes for years and whose collected works I revere, so it's amazing to find myself in this select group. Many of the soldiers I wrote about hailed from Central New York, and I feel as if this award, in some small measure, also honors their service and sacrifice."

    "This is an wonderful recognition for one of the Le Moyne's most celebrated faculty members," said Le Moyne President Linda LeMura. "Dr. Egerton is recognized internationally for his expertise of this important historical era, and this prize only solidifies his place as one of the nation's preeminent Civil War scholars."

    Dr. Egerton shares the 2017 Lincoln Prize with James B. Conroy, author of Lincoln’s White House: The People’s House in Wartime. The authors will split a $50,000 prize and will each receive a bronze replica of Augustus Saint-Gaudens' life-size bust “Lincoln the Man.” They will be recognized during an event hosted by Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History at the Union League Club in New York City on Wednesday, April 19. 

    “These are two wonderful books, both telling deeply human stories,” said Gilder Lehrman Institute President James G. Basker. “From the White House to the battlefield, the presidency to the enlisted ranks, both books reveal the lived experience of people - the highs and lows of courage and misery, the heroic and mundane - during our nation’s defining crisis. General readers and students of history both will find these books irresistible, and emotionally moving."

    The focus of Dr. Egerton's works deals with the intersections between race and politics in early America. In addition to Thunder At the Gates, his books have included The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America's Most Progressive Era (2014), Year of Meteors: Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, and the Election That Brought on the Civil War (2010) and Death or Liberty: African Americans and Revolutionary America (2009). 

    He has also written numerous essays and reviews regarding race in early America; some of the latter have appeared in the Sunday Boston Globe and The Nation. He has appeared on the PBS series "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross" (2013), "Africans in America" (1998) and "This Far by Faith" (2002). During the 2011-­12 academic year, he held the Mary Ball Washington Chair (Fulbright) at the University College Dublin. In spring 2015, he was the Merrill Family Visiting Professor of History at Cornell University. Dr. Egerton received a B.A. from Arizona State University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Georgetown University. He has been at Le Moyne College since 1987.

    The Gilder Lehrman Institute devotes itself to history education by supporting magnet schools, teacher training, curriculum development, exhibitions, and publications, as well as endowing several major history awards. Since its founding in 1990, the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize has bestowed approximately $1 million on annual winners; recent prize recipients have included noted academic historians Martha Hodes (NYU), Eric Foner (Columbia), David Blight (Yale), and James McPherson (Princeton).