Iconic Books From the Past 100 Years

Over the past 100 years UNC Press is proud to have published an extensive catalog of award winning and highly praised books. As we celebrate our centennial, we’ve looked back at these prestigious titles to create a reading list of some of our most influential and iconic books—enjoy!

White Over Black: American Attitudes toward the Negro, 1550-1812

1969 National Book Award

1968 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award, Phi Beta Kappa

1968 Francis Parkman Prize, Society of American Historians

1969 Bancroft Prize, Columbia University

White over Black remains a signal achievement in American historiography, a rich analytical and stylistic bequest to early American scholarship.”—William and Mary Quarterly

The North Carolina Atlas: Portrait for a New Century

“Nowhere else can you find a single volume that tells so much about this place”—Business North Carolina

“Richly illustrated. . . . Unquestionably the book is a valuable reference source for the state’s government and business leaders, news media, students, and Tar Heel citizens.”—Our State

Mama Dip’s Kitchen

“Mama Dip [has the] ability to render great flavors from simple and good ingredients.”—Southern Living

“The recipes, honed by time, are simple and tasty. It’s almost like standing at Grandma’s stove, with her teaching enduring ways of cooking.”—Raleigh News & Observer

“Old-fashioned, down-home Southern cooking. More than 250 recipes from chicken pie, country style pork chops, to fresh corn casserole.”—Black Issues Book Review

Turners and Burners: The Folk Potters of North Carolina

1987 Mayflower Cup for Nonfiction, Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of North Carolina

1988 Third Prize, Chicago Folklore Prize

1987 President’s Award, North Carolina Society of Historians

Turners and Burners makes an enormous contribution to the study of North Carolina folklife. . . . North Carolinians, rejoice!”—North Carolina Folklore Journal

“The best book I have ever read on folk pottery.”—Warren E. Roberts, Journal of Folklore Research

Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World

Recipient of the 2004 Bashrahil Prize for Outstanding Cultural Achievement in the Humanities

A 2004 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

“A thoughtful and finely balanced primer on contemporary Islam.”—New York Review of Books

“An impressive scholarly work.”—The Telegraph-Calcutta

“A helpful resource for university religion departments. It is not a straight ‘Islam 101’ resource, and because of that, it is very refreshing. . . . A very helpful tool as an introduction to a course on Islam and contemporary religion.”—Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Mockingbird Song: Ecological Landscapes of the South

2007 Bancroft Prize, Columbia University

2007 Bennett H. Wall Award, Southern Historical Association

“A brilliant exploration of plants, animals, and people. . . . Mockingird Song has a rousing vitality that makes it destined to be a classic work of environmental history.”—Journal of Southern History

“A grand synthesis with perfect timing. It summarizes, appreciates, and expands on the recent bloom of scholarship that looks at the unique environmental history of the American South.”—Journal of American History

Building Houses out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, and Power

2006 Elli Köngäs-Maranda Prize, American Folklore Society, Women’s Section

“Fascinating. . . . recommend[ed]. . . to those interested in American/African American popular culture, African American women’s history, and the history of food.”—Virginia Magazine

“Likely to prove useful to students of cultural identity and stereotype.”—Western Folklore

“Beyond the place of chicken as racial stereotype and in soul-food gatherings, Williams-Forson offers intriguing interpretations of black history, culture, and feminism.”—Booklist

Wildflowers and Plant communities of the Souther Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont: A Naturalist’s Guide to the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia

“It deserves a good look from individuals interested in natural history, plant communities and diversity, and conservation.”—Plant Science Bulletin

“One of the finest contributions to regional plant studies in recent years.”—Asheville Citizen Times

“Twenty-one major plant communities are described in detail, and the refreshing and easy-to-use format allows readers to explore each of the 340 featured plants in terms of their natural history, ecology, habitat, range, and uses—where applicable. Highly recommended.”—Virginia Wildlife

The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South

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“A powerful testament to the redemptive powers of human nature.”—Booklist

“A well-crafted portrait of the evolution of race relations in Durham, N.C.—and of America’s tendency to ignore issues of class.”—Publishers Weekly

“This eloquent blend of history and advocacy journalism ends with a follow-up on the major figures and–with that rarest quality in a book on race in America—a reason for hope.”—Kirkus Reviews

From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century, Second Edition

2021 Lillian Smith Book Award

2021 Association for the Study of African American Life and History Book Prize

2020 Ragan Old North State Award for Nonfiction, North Carolina Literary and Historical Association

2021 Best Book Awards in Social Change Category, American Book Fest

“Simply put: The best historical, conceptual, and empirical case for reparations for Black Americans.”—Ibram X. Kendi

“Darity and Mullen challenge the United States to bear the moral weight of the legacies of slavery and deeply entrenched racism: to reject trifling, half-hearted measures and to approach—and perhaps even achieve—wholeness through reparations.”—New York Review of Books

Visit our centennial page for more info about our 100th anniversary.