Sutherland Wins Inaugural Tom Watson Brown Book Award

sutherland_savageWe know, we know. Winning isn’t everything, but we have to admit, it sure does feel good!  Author Daniel Sutherland was awarded the first ever Tom Watson Brown Book Award, a $50,000 prize, by the Society of Civil War Historians, for his book A Savage Conflict: The Decisive Role of Guerrillas in the American Civil War.

The Watson Brown prize “is awarded annually to the author of the outstanding book on the causes, conduct, and effects, broadly defined, of the Civil War,” according to the Society of Civil War Historians. The nominated books were judged on the “works’ scholarly and literary merit as well as the extent to which they make original contributions to our understanding of the period.”

David Perry, UNC Press’s editor-in-chief, said, “It’s significant that in the inaugural year of the prize, the Watson Brown jury recognized not a book on a battle or a military leader but one that took as its subject the terrible toll of the war on ordinary citizens far from the battlefield and the role that irregular warfare played in undermining popular support for the war.  We’re immensely pleased for Dan Sutherland and grateful for the recognition that this prize brings to his important work.”

The book has received much praise for its account of how unconventional war tactics in the American Civil War heavily influenced the conflict. The Society of Military History previously recognized Sutherland’s work by awarding him their 2010 Distinguished Book Award. A Savage Conflict also won the 2009 Jefferson Davis Award from the Museum of the Confederacy.

Congratulations to Sutherland for this achievement!