Wisconsin Historical Society

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2017 Book Award of Merit Winner Announced

2017 Book Award of Merit Winner Announced | Wisconsin Historical Society

This year two awards were given for the Book Award of Merit. Mary Elise Antonie received the award for "The War of 1812 in Wisconsin: The Battle for Prairie du Chien" published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. Robert J. Gough and James W. Oberly received the award for "Building Excellence: University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 1916-2016" published by UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

About the Books

Mary Elise Antoine’s "The War of 1812 in Wisconsin: The Battle for Prairie du Chien" moves the story of the War of 1812 away from the better known battles in the on the Great Lakes, in the east and in the south into the interior of the new nation. Deftly exploring the interactions between the Native American tribes, the French, the British, and the Americans, Antoine tells a complex story in a clear and engaging way. She makes clear the story was less about three day battle and more about a complex four-way game of chess in which parties changed sides and played one off the other as they tried to seize opportunities in the sparsely settled American west. Of critical importance in understanding the formation of Wisconsin as a state, this book will be a standard source for many years to come.  

In "Building Excellence: University of Wisconsin-Eau-Claire 1916-2016,"  Robert J. Gough and James W. Oberly write an institutional history that transcends the confines of their university, addressing how larger trends in American education played out in central Wisconsin.  Their thorough research brings detail and life to conflicts between administrators faculty over reform of their school as well as to local ramifications of national events, such as the Vietnam War protests.  Students of the history of American higher education, and not just graduates of UWEC, will profit from reading this book.

About the Award

The award is given to the author or authors of a book on Wisconsin history which, in the opinion of the judges, made the most valuable contribution to public understanding of Wisconsin's past during the preceding calendar year. The criteria used to evaluate the nominations included factual accuracy, documentation, research methodology, graphic design and the impact on the reading public.

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