Iconic Books From The Past 100 Years: Part 3

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 highlight some of our most influential and iconic books. Find the first two installations in our Iconic Books blog series here.

Graveyard of the Atlantic: Shipwrecks of the North Carolina Coast by David Stick

“An engrossing account of shipwrecks off the Outer Banks of North Carolina, between 1526 and the last years of the Second World War.”—New Yorker

“If you like shipwrecks (to read about, that is) you’ll revel in Graveyard of the Atlantic, for here more than 600 wrecked vessels are mentioned in this absorbing anthology of deep water tragedies.”—Chicago Tribune

“A thrilling record of storm and stress, of cruel seas and shifting sands, of broken ships, tragedy and gallantry is set down in this book.”—New York Times Book Review

The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence between Thomas Jefferson & Abigail & John Adams edited by Lester J. Cappon

“American history offers no parallel to the friendship between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, spanning the first half century of the Republic. . . . The publication, in full and integrated form, of the remarkable correspondence between these two eminent men is a notable event.”—Dumas Malone, New York Times Book Review

The Creation of the American Republic 1776-1787 by Gordon S. Wood

1970 Bancroft Prize, Columbia University

1970 John H. Dunning Prize, American Historical Association

“One of the half dozen most important books ever written about the American Revolution.”—New York Times Book Review

“During the nearly two decades since its publication, this book has set the pace, furnished benchmarks, and afforded targets for many subsequent studies. If ever a work of history merited the appellation ‘modern classic,’ this is surely one.”—William and Mary Quarterly

Auschwitz: True Tales From a Grotesque Land by Sara Nomberg-Przytyk. Translated by Roslyn Hirsch; Edited by Eli Pfefferkorn and David H. Hirsch

1986 Best Books for Young Adults, American Library Association, Young Adults Services Division

1986 Merit of Educational Distinction, International Center for Holocaust Studies, Anti-Defamation League

“The unusual attention to the details of human character that emerged under the cruel and extreme conditions of the death camp sets [this book] apart from the many important and moving books written by other survivors.”—New York Times Book Review

Back of the Big House: The Architecture of Plantation Slavery by John Michael Vlach

New York Times Notable Book

“Vlach interweaves contemporary reports, oral histories of former slaves and archaeological evidence of surviving outbuildings in an unemotional but powerful manner.”—New York Times Book Review

“One of the most user-friendly studies of African-American material culture ever written.”—American Historical Review

Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868-1898 by Ada Ferrer

1999 Berkshire Prize, Berkshire Conference of Women Historians

“An admirable book . . .”—Times Literary Supplement

“An insightful study on Cuba’s subaltern population and the role it played in constructing the Republic of Cuba.”—American Historical Review

“This book is the best overview in English of the role of race in the Cuban independence movement.”—Journal of American History

“An important analysis of race in early Cuban nationalism.”—Choice

Consider the Eel by Richard Schweid

Winner, Best Sci-Tech Books for General Readers, 2002, Library Journal

“An engaging look at an important food fish. . . . Schweid delves into both the science and the folklore surrounding this fish.”—Booklist

“Everything you always wanted to know about eels. . . . Will delight anyone with a taste for natural history. . . . Schweid is just as interested in the nexus of eel and humankind. A good portion of Consider the Eel is spent not with eels but with those who catch, sell and—to a somewhat lesser extent—eat them.”—New York Times Book Review

Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue by John Shelton Reed, Dale Volberg Reed with William McKinney

Best Book, 2017 Awards of Excellence, National Barbecue and Grilling Association

Finalist, 2009 International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Award

“A funny, fantastically southern memoir of the infamous East-West brawl over North Carolina barbecue. . . . Everything we ever wanted to know about the history of the ‘cue, the sauce, and the people behind this Tar Heel tradition.”—Southern Living

Holy Smoke . . . may be the best tome ever written about pulled pork.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America by Edward J. Blum, Paul Harvey

A 2013 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

“A compelling study. . . . This work will captivate readers of American religious and racial history.”—Library Journal

“The authors’ breadth of research is impressive, and their incorporation of material culture is a model for future scholarship.”—Journal of American History

“Thoroughly fascinating.”—Booklist Starred Review and 2013 Top 10 Black History Nonfiction

Embattled Freedom: Journeys through the Civil War’s Slave Refugee Camps by Amy Murrell Taylor

2019 Frederick Douglass Book Prize, Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition

2019 Tom Watson Brown Book Award, Society of Civil War Historians

2019 John Nau Book Prize in American Civil War Era History, John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia

A 2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Governor’s Book Award, Kentucky Historical Society and the Office of the Governor

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