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History professor recognized for Civil War book

Charles Scarborough

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University of Alabama History Professor Howard Jones received an honorable mention for the 2011 Lincoln Prize for his book, “Blue and Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations.”

The Lincoln Prize, which is sponsored by The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and Gettysburg College, will be awarded in a May 11 ceremony at the Union League Club in New York City.

Professor Jones has studied and written about the American Civil War for over two decades. “Blue and Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations,” provides a holistic overview of the confederacy’s foreign policy dealings with European powers.

Jones focuses on how the entire landscape of the Civil War, as well as the history of the United States was extremely close to being dramatically shifted by the South’s near recognition as a credible diplomatic entity.

“If the South had won diplomatic recognition in the first eighteen months of the war, when everything was hanging in the balance, it could have gone either way,” Jones said.

Sitting in an office adorned with civil war memorabilia and a portrait of Abraham Lincoln prominently featured over his desk, Jones mentioned how honored he was to receive the award.

“It means quite a bit. It really does,” Jones said. “There are so many books that are published on the Civil War. To have over a hundred nominated and to be among the seven at the top it means quite a bit to me.”

Out of the 106 nominees for the 2011 Lincoln Prize, six received honorable mention, the highest tally yet in the 21-year history of the award. The winner was Eric Foner, a Columbia University professor, who wrote “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.”

Kari Frederickson, chairwoman of the history department, said she was extremely proud of Jones’ being rewarded the Lincoln Prize Honorable Mention.

“To receive Honorable Mention for the Lincoln Prize is a tremendous accomplishment,” Frederickson said. “The Lincoln Prize is one of the most prestigious awards given for works in American history. This award further confirms that Dr. Jones is among the top scholars in his field.”

Frederickson said that Jones’ is a special writer because his readership spans various communities and thus is a huge boon to UA, as his notability adds prestige to the history department.

“What is amazing about Dr. Jones’s impressive body of work is that its readership is not confined to a small group of academics,” Frederickson said. “Just yesterday I met with a prospective undergraduate who is considering attending the University of Alabama. Her father is familiar with the work of Dr. Jones and was excited to hear that his daughter could possibly take one his classes.  For a scholar to have this kind of reach is truly impressive and reflects well on the University of Alabama”

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History professor recognized for Civil War book