Dwelling Place Wins Prestigious Bancroft Prize

Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic: Erskine ClarkeColumbia University recently announced the winners of the 2006 Bancroft Prize in American History.  Yale University Press is pleased to announce that one of this year’s recipients is Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic by Erskine Clarke.

Encompassing the years 1805 to 1869, Dwelling Place brings to life the simultaneous but vastly different experiences of slave and slave owner in Liberty County, Georgia.  More than ten years in the making, the book combines deep scholarship with a powerful literary imagination and a measured, evocative prose style.  Through letters, plantation and church records, court documents, slave narratives, archaeological findings, and the memory of the African American community, Clarke brings to light the little-known history of four generations of Liberty Hall’s slaves and their white owners.  In a recent review in The New Republic, Steven Hahn, winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in history, called Dwelling Place “one of the finest studies of American slavery ever written.”

Read an excerpt (in pdf format).

About the author:
Erskine Clarke has been a faculty member at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, since 1973 and Professor of American Religious History since 1985.

About the Bancroft Prize:
The Bancroft Prizes were established at Columbia University in 1948 with a bequest from Frederic Bancroft, the historian, author and librarian of the Department of State, to provide steady development of library resources, to support instruction and research in American history and diplomacy and to recognize exceptional books in the field.  One of the most coveted honors in the field of history, the Bancroft Prizes are awarded annually by the Trustees of Columbia University to the authors of books of exceptional merit in the fields of American history, biography and diplomacy.

Other recent Yale University Press titles to win the Bancroft Prize include Alan Gallay’s The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South, 1670-1717 (in 2003) and George M. Marsden’s Jonathan Edwards: A Life (in 2004).

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