The paper of record.

Given that the Times has now printed this announcement, I suppose I have to accept that my book has actually been awarded the Bancroft Prize, that, in other words, this isn’t all some elaborate hoax. I mean, when has the Times ever been wrong about any matter of great import? (I’m not even going to bother linking to Judith Miller, because that would be overkill.)

Honestly, I’m not sure what to say about any of this. I’m very pleased, of course, and very confused and more than a little embarrassed. I’m gratified to be sharing the award with Ira Katznelson, who’s a giant in the field and who has long been one of my intellectual heroes.

Most of all, though, I’m grateful to the many people who helped me along the way: friends and colleagues who read draft after draft of the manuscript, warning me away from errors and steering me toward productive lines of inquiry; generous archivists and other historians, who often shared fruitful sources with me; funders and employers, who provided the resources necessary to complete a project as sweeping as A Misplaced Massacre; the many folks who agreed to sit for interviews, including National Park Service personnel, local landowners, and Sand Creek descendants, all of whom took real risks in speaking with me on the record; everyone at Harvard University Press, and especially my stalwart editor, Kathleen McDermott, who allowed me to take the time I needed to write the book I wanted to write; and most of all, the members of my family, who brought me enough joy that I was able to spend years thinking and writing about an event as sad and terrible as Sand Creek.

Writing a book is almost always a team effort, and never more so than in this case.

5 thoughts on “The paper of record.

  1. Ari Kelman Post author

    My mom is pretty happy, Josh. And thanks, Larry. Coming from you, that actually means something (because you don’t mince words, not because you’re any kind of expert on nice guys).

  2. Dad

    “most of all, the members of my family” Ari, I agree. Just send my share of the prize money.
    Seriously, I know how hard & long you worked. It is a great honor & mom & I “shep lots of nachas” from you in general & from this in particular. It is quite an honor!!!

  3. Matthew

    Late to the party, but I could not be happier Ari. We are all better off for having you in our professional and personal lives.


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