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The George Washington Prize recognizes the year's best works on the nation's founding era (1760-1820).

This $50,000 award was created in 2005 and was presented that year to Ron Chernow for Alexander Hamilton. Subsequent winners have included Lin-Manuel Miranda, Annette Gordon-Reed, and Nathaniel Philbrick.

The George Washington Prize is co-sponsored by Washington College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

Past Winners

2023: Maurizio Valsania

In First Among Men, author Maurizio Valsania introduces readers to a refreshingly human portrait of George Washington through an analysis of his masculinity, to include its physical, emotional, and social dimensions.

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2022: Bruce A. Ragsdale

In Washington At the Plow, Bruce Ragsdale persuasively connects the two ideas of George Washington as farmer and George Washington as slave owner. Through his examination, Ragsdale gives us a new look at Washington’s evolving relationship with slavery.

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2021: Mary Beth Norton

In 1774: The Long Year of Revolution, Mary Beth Norton richly described a key year in the revolutionary transformation of American resistance to Britain. She notes how the courts, the newspapers, the militia, and the assemblies were radicalized against the British.

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2020: Rick Atkinson

In The British are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777, Rick Atkinson recounts the first twenty-one months of America’s violent war for independence.

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2019: Colin Calloway

Colin Calloway's book The Indian World of George Washington reveals the relationship between Washington and the Native leaders he dealt with intimately across the decades: Shingas, Tanaghrisson, Guyasuta, Attakullakulla, Bloody Fellow, Joseph Brant, Cornplanter, Red Jacket, and Little Turtle, among many others. 

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2018: Kevin J. Hayes

Despite being a lifelong reader, Washington felt an acute sense of embarrassment about his relative lack of formal education and cultural sophistication. In Kevin J. Hayes' book, George Washington: A Life in Books, Hayes illustrates just how tirelessly Washington worked to improve.

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Publishers and authors are invited to submit new works on George Washington and his times (the Revolutionary and founding eras circa 1760-1820) that reach a broad, non-scholarly public audience.

Submissions for next year's prize are due by December 31 of this year and must have a  publication date between January 1 and December 31 of this year.

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