Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM | Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM | Sun: 1PM to 5PM
4613 N Oketo Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60706 | 708-867-7828
Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM
Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM
Sun: 1PM to 5PM
4613 N Oketo Ave
Harwood Heights, IL 60706
708-867-7828

4613 N Oketo Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60706 708-867-7828

Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM | Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM | Sun: 1PM to 5PM

2024 Bancroft Prize Winners

The Bancroft Prizes are awarded annually by Columbia University in the City of New York. The winners are judged in terms of scope, significance, depth of research, and richness of interpretation that they present in the areas of American history and diplomacy.

The 2024 Bancroft Prizes have been awarded to Continental Reckoning: The American West in the Age of Expansion by Elliott West and Fire and Rain: Nixon, Kissinger and the Wars in Southeast Asia by Carolyn Woods Eisenberg.

Continental Reckoning: The American West in the Age of Expansion by Elliott West

In Continental Reckoning renowned historian Elliott West presents a sweeping narrative of the American West and its vital role in the transformation of the nation. In the 1840s, by which time the United States had expanded to the Pacific, what would become the West was home to numerous vibrant Native cultures and vague claims by other nations. Thirty years later it was organized into states and territories and bound into the nation and world by an infrastructure of rails, telegraph wires, and roads and by a racial and ethnic order, with its Indigenous peoples largely dispossessed and confined to reservations.

Unprecedented exploration uncovered the West’s extraordinary resources, beginning with the discovery of gold in California within days of the United States acquiring the territory following the Mexican-American War. As those resources were developed, often by the most modern methods and through modern corporate enterprise, half of the contiguous United States was physically transformed. Continental Reckoning guides the reader through the rippling, multiplying changes wrought in the western half of the country, arguing that these changes should be given equal billing with the Civil War in this crucial transition of national life.

As the West was acquired, integrated into the nation, and made over physically and culturally, the United States shifted onto a course of accelerated economic growth, a racial reordering and redefinition of citizenship, engagement with global revolutions of science and technology, and invigorated involvement with the larger world. The creation of the West and the emergence of modern America were intimately related. Neither can be understood without the other. With masterful prose and a critical eye, West presents a fresh approach to the dawn of the American West, one of the most pivotal periods of American history.

Fire and Rain: Nixon, Kissinger and the Wars in Southeast Asia by Carolyn Woods Eisenberg

Fire and Rain is a compelling, meticulous narrative of the way national security decisions formed at the highest levels of government affect the lives of individuals at home and abroad. By drawing these connections, Carolyn Woods Eisenberg brings to life policy decisions about Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, conveying their significance to a new generation of readers. She breaks fresh ground in contextualizing Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger’s decisions within a wider institutional and societal framework. While recognizing the distinctive personalities and ideas of these two men, this study more broadly conveys the competing roles and impact of the professional military, the Congress, and a mobilized peace movement.

Drawing upon a vast collection of declassified documents, Eisenberg presents an important re-interpretation of the Nixon Administration’s relations with the Soviet Union and China vis a vis the war in Southeast Asia. She argues that in their desperate effort to overcome, or at least overshadow, their failure in Vietnam, Nixon and Kissinger made major concessions to both nations in the field of arms control, their response to the India-Pakistan war, and the diplomacy surrounding Taiwan–much of this secret. Despite policymakers’ claims that the Vietnam War was a “national security” necessity that would demonstrate American strength to the communist superpowers and “credibility” to friendly governments, the historical record suggests a different reality.

A half-century after the Paris Peace Conference marking the withdrawal of US troops and advisors from Vietnam and foreign troops from Laos and Cambodia, Fire and Rain is a dramatic account of geopolitical decision making, civil society, and the human toll of the war on the people of Southeast Asia.

Categories: Adults and Blog.

2024 Bancroft Prize Winners

The Bancroft Prizes are awarded annually by Columbia University in the City of New York. The winners are judged in terms of scope, significance, depth of research, and richness of interpretation that they present in the areas of American history and diplomacy.

The 2024 Bancroft Prizes have been awarded to Continental Reckoning: The American West in the Age of Expansion by Elliott West and Fire and Rain: Nixon, Kissinger and the Wars in Southeast Asia by Carolyn Woods Eisenberg.

Continental Reckoning: The American West in the Age of Expansion by Elliott West

In Continental Reckoning renowned historian Elliott West presents a sweeping narrative of the American West and its vital role in the transformation of the nation. In the 1840s, by which time the United States had expanded to the Pacific, what would become the West was home to numerous vibrant Native cultures and vague claims by other nations. Thirty years later it was organized into states and territories and bound into the nation and world by an infrastructure of rails, telegraph wires, and roads and by a racial and ethnic order, with its Indigenous peoples largely dispossessed and confined to reservations.

Unprecedented exploration uncovered the West’s extraordinary resources, beginning with the discovery of gold in California within days of the United States acquiring the territory following the Mexican-American War. As those resources were developed, often by the most modern methods and through modern corporate enterprise, half of the contiguous United States was physically transformed. Continental Reckoning guides the reader through the rippling, multiplying changes wrought in the western half of the country, arguing that these changes should be given equal billing with the Civil War in this crucial transition of national life.

As the West was acquired, integrated into the nation, and made over physically and culturally, the United States shifted onto a course of accelerated economic growth, a racial reordering and redefinition of citizenship, engagement with global revolutions of science and technology, and invigorated involvement with the larger world. The creation of the West and the emergence of modern America were intimately related. Neither can be understood without the other. With masterful prose and a critical eye, West presents a fresh approach to the dawn of the American West, one of the most pivotal periods of American history.

Fire and Rain: Nixon, Kissinger and the Wars in Southeast Asia by Carolyn Woods Eisenberg

Fire and Rain is a compelling, meticulous narrative of the way national security decisions formed at the highest levels of government affect the lives of individuals at home and abroad. By drawing these connections, Carolyn Woods Eisenberg brings to life policy decisions about Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, conveying their significance to a new generation of readers. She breaks fresh ground in contextualizing Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger’s decisions within a wider institutional and societal framework. While recognizing the distinctive personalities and ideas of these two men, this study more broadly conveys the competing roles and impact of the professional military, the Congress, and a mobilized peace movement.

Drawing upon a vast collection of declassified documents, Eisenberg presents an important re-interpretation of the Nixon Administration’s relations with the Soviet Union and China vis a vis the war in Southeast Asia. She argues that in their desperate effort to overcome, or at least overshadow, their failure in Vietnam, Nixon and Kissinger made major concessions to both nations in the field of arms control, their response to the India-Pakistan war, and the diplomacy surrounding Taiwan–much of this secret. Despite policymakers’ claims that the Vietnam War was a “national security” necessity that would demonstrate American strength to the communist superpowers and “credibility” to friendly governments, the historical record suggests a different reality.

A half-century after the Paris Peace Conference marking the withdrawal of US troops and advisors from Vietnam and foreign troops from Laos and Cambodia, Fire and Rain is a dramatic account of geopolitical decision making, civil society, and the human toll of the war on the people of Southeast Asia.

Categories: Adults and Blog.