Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize

The Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute and Gettysburg College, is awarded annually for the finest scholarly work in English on Abraham Lincoln, the American Civil War soldier, or the American Civil War era. The $50,000 Lincoln Prize was established in 1990 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, in partnership with Dr. Gabor Boritt, Director Emeritus of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College.

The Prize will generally go to a book but in rare instances an important article or essay might be honored. When studies competing for the Prize show similar scholarly merit, preference will be given to works on Abraham Lincoln, or the Civil War soldier, or work aimed at the literate general public. In harmony with the last preference, in rare instances the Prize may go to a work or works of fiction, poetry, the theater, the arts, a film, scholarly article or editing project provided they are true to history. In rare instances, the Prize may go to a historical project, such as an inspired conference or an editing project or a work or service related to the subjects of the Prize. As many as two prizes may be awarded each year. It will be awarded for works published only during the designated year of the Prize. 

The Prize is intended chiefly to encourage outstanding new scholarship. Each year any work that appears during the previous year may be eligible for consideration. However, facing a lean scholarly year, the Board of Trustees may request the jury to consider work from the previous two or three years.

The Prize is supervised and awarded by the five trustees. The Board of Trustees appoints a jury of three historians or qualified specialists each year. The jury will be requested to recommend three finalists and the Board of Trustees is to make a final selection of the winner.

Publishers, critics, and authors may submit books published in the current year by November 1. There is no entry fee or form. Send six copies of the nominated work to:

The Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize
300 N. Washington Street, Campus Box 435
Gettysburg, PA 17325.

For more information, please call (717) 337-8255 or email lincolnprize@gettysburg.edu.


GILDER LEHRMAN LINCOLN PRIZE WINNERS

2019
David W. Blight

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (Simon & Schuster)

2018
Edward Ayers

The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America (W.W. Norton)

2017
James B. Conroy

Lincoln’s White House: The People’s House in Wartime (Rowman & Littlefield)

Douglas R. Egerton
Thunder at the Gates: The Black Civil War Regiments That Redeemed America (Basic Books)

Special Achievement Award
Douglas L. Wilson & Rodney O. Davis
Herndon on Lincoln: Letters (University of Illinois Press)

2016
Martha Hodes

Mourning Lincoln (Yale University Press)

2015
Harold Holzer

Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion (Simon & Schuster)

2014
Allen C. Guelzo

Gettysburg: The Last Invasion (Alfred A. Knopf)

Martin P. Johnson
Writing the Gettysburg Address (University Press of Kansas)

Special Achievement Award
Steven Spielberg
Lincoln (DreamWorks Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and Participant Media presented in association with Amblin Entertainment, Kennedy/Marshall Company, 2012)

2013
James Oakes

Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861–1865 (W. W. Norton)

2012
William C. Harris

Lincoln and the Border States: Preserving the Union (University Press of Kansas)

Elizabeth D. Leonard
Lincoln’s Forgotten Ally: Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt of Kentucky (University of North Carolina Press)

2011
Eric Foner

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery (W. W. Norton)

2010
Michael Burlingame

Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Johns Hopkins University Press)

2009
James M. McPherson

Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief (Penguin)

Craig L. Symonds
Lincoln and His Admirals: Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. Navy, and the Civil War (Oxford University Press)

2008
James Oakes

The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics (W. W. Norton)

Elizabeth Brown Pryor
Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters (Viking)

2007
Douglas L. Wilson

Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words (Alfred A. Knopf)

2006
Doris Kearns Goodwin

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (Simon & Schuster)

2005
Allen C. Guelzo

Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America (Simon & Schuster)

2004
Richard J. Carwardine

Lincoln (Pearson Education Ltd.)

Special Achievement Award
John Y. Simon
for editing 26 volumes--to date--of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant (Southern Illinois University Press)

2003
George C. Rable

Fredericksburg!  Fredericksburg! (University of North Carolina Press)

2002
David W. Blight

Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Harvard University Press)

2001
Russell F. Weigley

A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861-1865 (Indiana University Press)

2000
John Hope Franklin & Loren Schweninger

Runaway Slaves: Rebels in the Plantation (Oxford University Press)

Allen C. Guelzo
Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (William B. Eerdmans)

1999
Douglas L. Wilson

Honor's Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln (Alfred A. Knopf)

1998
James McPherson

For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War (Oxford University Press)

1997
Don Fehrenbacher

Prelude to Greatness: Lincoln in the 1850s and The Dred Scott Case: Its Significance in American Law and Politics (Stanford University Press)

1996
David Donald

Lincoln (Touchstone Books)

1995
Phillip Shaw Paludan

The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln (University Press of Kansas)

1994
(co-winners) Ira Berlin, Barbara Fields, Steven Miller, Joseph Reidy, Leslie Rowland, eds.
Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom, and the Civil War (New Press)

1993
Kenneth Stampp

The Peculiar Institution (Vintage Books)

1992
William S. McFeely

Frederick Douglass (W.W. Norton)

Charles Royster
The Destructive War: William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson, and the Americans (Vintage Books)

1991
Ken Burns

The Civil War (Howell Press)