February 12, 2002
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—David W. Blight, the Class of 1959 Professor of History and Black Studies at Amherst College, has received the Lincoln Prize given by the Lincoln & Soldiers’ Institute at Gettysburg College for Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory ($29.95, 512 pp., Harvard University Press, Cambridge 2001). The prize is given annually to the best work on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War era.

Race and Reunion is a study of how Americans—black and white, from North and South, soldiers and politicians, writers and editors—made sense of America's most wrenching war. Eric Foner of Columbia University wrote in the New York Times Book Review that “Race and Reunion demonstrates forcefully that...it still matters very much how we remember the Civil War.” “Blight conclusively demonstrates” wrote Jonathan Yardley in the Washington Post Book World, that the post-war “United States was caught up almost immediately in a ‘tormented relationship between healing and justice,’ and the abolitionist, emancipationist view of the war’s aims quickly receded into the background.”

Race and Reunion also received the 2001 Frederick Douglass Prize as the year’s outstanding book on slavery. A pioneer of the emerging field of memory studies, Blight is also the author of the award-winning Frederick Douglass’s Civil War (1989) and many other books and articles. More information from the Harvard University Press Website.

Previous Lincoln Prize winners have included Ken Burns, James M. McPherson and John Hope Franklin. They are announced each year on Lincoln's birthday (Feb. 12). The 12th annual award will be presented at an April 2 banquet at The Union League Club of New York. First prize is accompanied by a bronze replica of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ life-size bust, “Lincoln the Man.” More information on the Lincoln Prize.