Monday, April 4, 2011

John and Lewis Win BHC Book Prizes

At its recent meeting in St. Louis, the Business History Conference awarded its two prestigious book prizes, the Ralph Gomory Prize and the Hagley Prize in Business History.
  The Gomory Prize, made possible by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, "recognizes historical work on the effect business enterprises have on the economic conditions of a country in which they operate." The initial award, which considered work published in English in 2009 and 2010, went to Richard R. John, professor in the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, for Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications (Harvard University Press, 2010). The book was previously featured on this blog, where links to reviews and commentary can be found.
   The Hagley Prize for the best book in business history published within the previous two years was awarded to Susan Ingalls Lewis, associate professor of history at the State University of New York, New Paltz, for Unexceptional Women: Female Proprietors in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Albany, New York, 1830–1885 (Ohio State University Press, 2009). Earlier, Wendy Gamber had written that the book “convincingly demonstrates that in nineteenth-century Albany . . . businesswomen were ordinary rather than exceptional. Lewis is especially adept at showing how idealized notions of womanhood, individualism, entrepreneurial success, obsession with change over time, and erroneously clear-cut distinctions between ‘business’ and ‘labor’ distort the realities of businesswomen’s lives and careers.” Readers can find excerpts from the book here.