The Journal of the American Revolution is pleased to announce the five finalists for the 2019 JAR Book-of-the-Year Award. In alphabetical order:
The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775–1777 by Rick Atkinson (Henry Holt and Company)
Quarters: The Accommodation of the British Army and the Coming of the American Revolution by John Gilbert McCurdy (Cornell University Press);
Revolutionary Networks: The Business and Politics of Printing the News, 1763–1789 by Joseph M. Adelman (Johns Hopkins University Press);
Washington’s Revolutionary War Generals by Stephen R. Taaffe (University of Oklahoma Press);
The Will of the People: The Revolutionary Birth of America by T. H. Breen (Harvard University Press)
The winner and honorable mention will be announced on January 31.
The award—an international award dedicated to nonfiction books on the Revolutionary and Founding eras—has been given annually since 2014 to the work that best reflects the mission of the journal: to deliver engaging, creative, and original research or compelling synthesis in a well-crafted narrative that appeals to scholars and lay readers alike. Past winners include The Indian World of George Washington by Colin G. Calloway, The Martyr and the Traitor by Virginia DeJohn Anderson, Brothers at Arms by Larrie D. Ferreiro, and Independence Lost by Kathleen DuVal. The award is judged by a panel of both professional and public historians. (Note: books published by Westholme Publishing, such as Daniel Morgan: A Revolutionary Life by Albert Zambone, winner of the Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award for Biography, are not eligible since JAR is published by Westholme.)
With only two books having a rating of 10 and one of them on a specialized topic that attracts few readers no matter how well written, (zero reviews on Amazon), it seems obvious what the winner should be. The last two winners I can vouch for are must reads, so I expect the streak will continue.
The judging for the Book Award is not related to the ratings given by JAR book reviewers.