The David H. Pinkney Prize

Next Award Deadline: 15 December 2017

The Society for French Historical Studies awards the David H. Pinkney Prize to the most distinguished book in French history, published for the first time the preceding year by a citizen of the United States or Canada or by an author with a fulltime appointment at an American or Canadian college or university.  Books focusing on any historical period or type of history may be considered, but unpublished or edited works are ineligible. 

The winner, who receives an award of $1,500, will be announced at the annual meeting of the Society.  The prize may not be shared, although an “honorable mention” may be named.

To apply: Publishers should send one copy of the submission to each of the committee members listed below.

The deadline for this year's competition is closed. For next year's competition, books published in 2017, further instructions will be forthcoming. 

Committee Members:

Anne Lester, Chair (2017)

Department of History
University of Colorado
234 UCB
204 Hellem Bldg
Boulder, CO 80309-0234

Mack Holt (2018)

Department of History and Art History
George Mason University
Robinson Hall B 226
4400 University Drive, 3G1
Fairfax, VA 22030

Joshua Cole (2018)

Department of History
University of Michigan
1029 Tisch Hall
435 S. State St.
Ann Arbor MI 48109

Benjamin C. Brower (2019)

History Department
University of Texas at Austin
128 Inner Campus Dr. B7000
GAR 1.104
Austin, TX 78712



David H. Pinkney was an internationally renowned scholar of French history. He was best known for his books Napoleon III and the Rebuilding of Paris (1958), The French Revolution of 1830 (1972; translated and published by the Presses Universitaires de France in 1988), and Decisive Years in France, 1840-1847 (1986). He served on the faculty of the University of Washington department of History from 1966 until his retirement in 1984. In a memorial published in French Historical Studies in 1993, Gordon Wright wrote of Pinkney's three major books that they “together show an uncommon mastery of French history in the mid-nineteenth-century…they represent the work of a master craftsman.”

David Pinkney played a leading role in the remarkable postwar growth of the historical study of France in the United States and Canada. He was among the twenty-nine founding members of the Society for French Historical Studies; he served on the SFHS Executive Committee from 1956 to 1978. He was SFHS president for 1975-1976. He edited the journal French Historical Studies from 1966 to 1975.

Past Winners

Ethan KatzThe Burdens of Brotherhood:  Jews and Muslims from North Africa to France (Harvard University Press, 2015).

John C. Rule and Ben S. TrotterA World of Paper: Louis XIV, Colbert de Torcy, and the Rise of the Information State (McGill-Queens, 2014).

Alice ConklinIn the Museum of Man: Race, Anthropology, and Empire in France, 1850-1950 (Cornell University Press, 2013).
Honorable Mention: Rebecca Rogers, A Frenchwoman's Imperial Story: Madame Luce in Nineteenth-Century Algeria (Stanford University Press, 2013).

William Reddy
The Making of Romantic Love: Longing and Sexuality in Europe, South Asia and Japan 900-1200 (University of Chicago Press, 2012).

Daniel ShermanFrench Primitivism and the Ends of Empire, 1945-1975 (University of Chicago Press, 2011).

Jeremy PopkinYou Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Benjamin Claude BrowerA Desert Named Peace: The Violence of France's Empire in the Algerian Sahara, 1844-1902 (Columbia University Press, 2009).

Jennifer PopielRousseau's Daughters: Domesticity, Education, and Autonomy in Modern France (University of New Hampshire Press, 2008).

Carol Symes
A Common Stage: Theater and Public Life in Medieval Arras (Cornell University Press, 2007).

Hans J. Hummer, Politics and Power in Early Medieval Europe: Alsace and the Frankish Realm, 600-1000 (Cambridge University Press, 2006); and
Gregory MannNative Sons: West African Veterans and France in the Twentieth Century (Duke University Press, 2006).

Jan GoldsteinThe Post-Revolutionary Self: Politics and the Psyche in France, 1750-1850 (Harvard University Press, 2005).

Laurent DuboisA Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804 (University of North Carolina Press, 2004).

Ronald Schechter
Obstinate Hebrews: Representations of Jews in France, 1715-1815 (University of California Press, 2003).
Honorable Mention: Michael Bess, The Light-Green Society. Ecology and Technological Modernity in France, 1960-2000 (University of Chicago Press, 2003).

Paul FriedlandPolitical Actors: Representative Bodies and Theatricality in the Age of the French Revolution (Cornell University Press, 2002).

Frederic L. CheyetteEmengard of Narbonne and the World of the Troubadours (Cornell University Press, 2001).

Michael KwassPrivilege and the Politics of Taxation in Eighteenth-Century France (Cambridge University Press, 2000).

Ruth Harris
Lourdes: Body and Spirit in a Secular Age (Viking, 1999).

John Markoff and Gilbert ShapiroRevolutionary Demands: A Content Analysis of the Cahiers de Doléances of 1789 (Stanford University Press, 1998).

Thomas BrennanBurgundy to Champagne: The Wine Trade in Early Modern France (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997).

John Markoff
The Abolition of Feudalism: Peasants, Lords, and Legislators in the French Revolution (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996).

Laura Lee DownsManufacturing Inequality: Gender Division in the French and British Metalworking Industries, 1914-1939 (Cornell University Press, 1995).

David Bell
Lawyers and Citizens: The Making of a Political Elite in Old Regime France (Oxford University Press, 1994).

Sarah MazaPrivate Lives and Public Affairs: The Causes Celebres of Prerevolutionary France (University of California Press, 1993); and
Lester LittleBenedictine Maledictions: Liturgical Cursing in Romanesque France (Cornell University Press, 1993).

1992 & 1993: 
Raymond Grew and Patrick Harrigan
Schools, State, and Society (University of Michigan Press, 1991).

1990 & 1991: 
Jo Burr MargandantMadame Le Professeur: Women Educators in the Third Republic (Princeton University Press, 1990); and
Elizabeth RapleyThe Devotées: Women and Church in Seventeenth Century France (Queen's University Press, 1990).
Honorable Mention: Carole Fink, Marc Bloch: A Life in History (Cambridge University Press, 1989).

1988 & 1989: 
Robert M. SchwartzPolicing the Poor in Eighteenth-Century France (University of North Carolina Press, 1988).
Honorable Mention: Michael Marrinan, Painting Politics for Louis-Philippe (Yale University Press, 1988).