AHA's Theodore Roosevelt-Woodrow Wilson Public Service Award goes to Adam Hochschild





[HNN Editor: In his remarks Hochshild noted that he has been telling friends he won the Roosevelt-Wilson award, in the vain hope that they will think the Roosevelt in question was Franklin not Theodore.]

AHA President Gabrielle Spiegel presided over last night’s “Opening of the 123rd Annual Meeting,” starting off with a quick welcome to participants and audience members, then moving on to the night’s events. First off was the presentation of the sixth Theodore Roosevelt-Woodrow Wilson Public Service Award to Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold’s Ghost. Spiegel explained that the Roosevelt-Wilson award is given “to honor a public figure or other civil servant who has made extraordinary contributions to the study, teaching, and public understanding of history.” Hochschild embodies this, with work that has “focused on topics of important moral and political urgency, with a special emphasis on social and political injustices,” and that has “had an extraordinary impact, attracting readers the world over, altering the teaching and writing of history and affecting politics and culture at national and international levels.”

Hochschild graciously accepted the award, thanking those who have made his achievements possible: his wife, his editor, and the numerous historians with whom he’s consulted over the years. He went on to emphasize that history belongs to us all, and that we should be grateful for the freedom we have in this country to delve into the past. He explained, and gave examples, of the many parts of the world where studying and teaching history is a dangerous business.

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