Stephanie Smallwood of the University of Washington, Seattle, won the prize for her book, Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora (Harvard University Press).
The prize is awarded by Yale University's Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition
, sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
In Saltwater Slavery, Smallwood, an associate professor of history at the University of Washington, Seattle, examines the transatlantic slave trade and the relationships between Africa and the new world.
Commented Richard Gilder, "Stephanie Smallwood's
Saltwater Slavery represents an important contribution to the scholarship of the Atlantic slave trade, for it considers slavery from the viewpoint of the slave as he
moves from Africa, through the Middle Passage, and at last in the Americas.
"Using primary sources to tell the story of slaves' passage to the Americas, Stephanie Smallwood
has produced a painstakingly researched work of the highest caliber."
book is at once haunting, informative, dramatic, painful to read, and bracing in its sense of learning and scholarship," said Blight in his remarks.
In addition to Smallwood
, the other finalists for the prize were Anthony E. Kaye for Joining Places: Slave Neighborhoods in the Old South (University of North Carolina Press); Kristin Mann for Slavery and the Birth of an African City: Lagos, 1760-1900 (Indiana University Press); and Chandra Manning for What this Cruel War was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War (Alfred A. Knopf Publishers).