Doris Kearns Goodwin: Receives 2006 Lincoln Prize

Historians in the News

The author of a long-awaited and widely acclaimed biography on President Abraham Lincoln and his Cabinet has won the 2006 Lincoln Prize, which is endowed by Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman and administered by Gettysburg College.

For her book, "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," Doris Kearns Goodwin will receive $50,000 and a bronze replica of Augustus Saint-Gaudens life-size bust, "Lincoln the Man." A formal ceremony will take place April 6 in New York City. The Lincoln Prize is the nation's most generous award in the field of American history.

"Goodwin's bravura study of the Lincoln administration - not only Lincoln himself but the remarkably gifted, competitive, indefatigable men who helped their President to save the Union and end slavery - has deservedly earned critical praise and popular enthusiasm," said Gilder and Lehrman in announcing the prize Feb. 10. "The product of exhaustive research, original interpretation, and deep insights into the period, the book is further blessed by its author's bold narrative style: dramatic, evocative, and deeply moving. This is a once-in-a-generation scholarly achievement that has drawn hundreds of thousands of new readers into history's greatest story."

Goodwin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author in history for her book about Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, "No Ordinary Time." Her other books include "Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream," "The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys" and "Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir." She is a regular political commentator for television and radio, including "Meet the Press" and "The Today Show." She currently resides in Concord, Mass.

"This prestigious award was originally and specifically designed to honor signal accomplishments in the field that are 'aimed at the literate general public,'" said Gettysburg College Prof. Gabor Boritt, who serves as chair of the Lincoln Prize. "This year's striking achievement by Doris Kearns Goodwin gives us the welcome opportunity to highlight this important aspect of the Lincoln Prize."

In addition to Goodwin's book, three others received honorable mention, including Carol Bundy's "The Nature of Sacrifice: A Biography of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr., 1835-1864," Margaret Creighton's "The Color of Courage: Gettysburg's Forgotten History - Immigrants, Women, and African Americans in the Civil War's Defining Battle" and Richard F. Miller's "Harvard's Civil War: A History of the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry."

Gilder and Lehrman, together with Gettysburg College Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies Gabor Boritt, established the Lincoln Prize in 1990. It is the nation's most generous award in the field of American history. The Gilder Lehrman Institute has amassed one of the nation's greatest private collections of American historical documents and devotes itself to education by supporting magnet schools, teacher education, curriculum development, exhibitions and publications.

Past Lincoln Prize winners include Ken Burns in 1991 for his documentary, "The Civil War," and James M. McPherson in 1998 for his book, "For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War." Last year's winner was Allen Guelzo, now a Gettysbug College history professor, for his book, "Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation."

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