Finalists for the Tenth Annual Gilder Lehrman Military History Prize Announced


Award Program to Take Place Monday, December 4, 2023

New York, NY, August 29, 2023 – The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the New-York Historical Society announced today that three finalists for the tenth annual Gilder Lehrman Military History Prize have been selected.

The $50,000 prize is bestowed in recognition of the best English language book published in 2022 in the field of American military history, distinguished by its scholarship, its contribution to the literature, and its appeal to the broadest possible general reading public. This is the first year in which the focus of the prize is on American rather than global military history, in keeping with the mission of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history. An event celebrating the winner and the shortlisted authors will take place on Wednesday, November 8, hosted by the New-York Historical Society, the first museum in New York City.

The three finalists for the 2022 prize were chosen by a three-member jury from a pool of ninety-five worthy candidates. The finalists are: Bruce Henderson for Bridge to the Sun: The Secret Role of the Japanese Americans Who Fought in the Pacific in World War II (Knopf); Frederick C. Leiner for Prisoners of the Bashaw: The Nineteen-Month Captivity of American Sailors in Tripoli, 1803–1805 (Westholme Publishing); and Nicholas Reynolds for Need to Know: World War II and the Rise of American Intelligence (Mariner Books).

This year’s jury chair was Craig L. Symonds, Professor Emeritus at the United States Naval Academy and distinguished historian of the American Civil War, the Second World War, and naval history. He was joined by Civil War scholar Lorien Foote, who is the Patricia & Bookman Peters Professor of History at Texas A&M University, and Colonel (Retired) Kevin J. Weddle, Professor of Military Theory and Strategy and the Elihu Root Chair of Military Studies at the United States Army War College.

The jury will present their recommendations to the board of the prize: James G. Basker, President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History; Robert C. Daum; Griff Norquist; Lieutenant General (Retired) Michelle D. Johnson; and Curt Viebranz. After a decision has been made by the board, the winner will be announced in early October.

The award presentation on December 4, 2023, will feature a conversation between jury chair Craig L. Symonds and the winner of the prize. The event will be free and open to the public.

The purpose of the Gilder Lehrman Military History Prize is to draw public attention to American military history not only as an important staple of education in the areas of international relations, diplomacy, and conflict studies, but also as a subject in which any educated citizen should be interested. The study of the steps to war, conduct of military campaigns, and diplomatic responses to war can play an essential role in the quest for a more peaceable future.

Funding for the prize is provided by Lewis E. Lehrman, co-founder of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, author, and champion of studies in American political and military history.

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History was founded in 1994 by Lewis E. Lehrman and the late Richard Gilder, visionaries and lifelong supporters of American history education. The Institute is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to K–12 history education while also serving the general public. Its mission is to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational programs and resources, at the core of which is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history, with more than 85,000 primary source documents.

About the New-York Historical Society

Experience 400 years of history through groundbreaking exhibitions, immersive films, and thought-provoking conversations among renowned historians and public figures at the New-York Historical Society, New York’s first museum. A great destination for history since 1804, the Museum and the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library convey the stories of the city and nation’s diverse populations, expanding our understanding of who we are as Americans and how we came to be. Ever-rising to the challenge of bringing little or unknown histories to light, New-York Historical will soon inaugurate a new wing housing its Academy for American Democracy as well as the American LGBTQ+ Museum. These latest efforts to help forge the future by documenting the past join New-York Historical’s DiMenna Children’s History Museum and Center for Women’s History. Digital exhibitions, apps, and our For the Ages podcast make it possible for visitors everywhere to dive more deeply into history. Connect with us at or at @nyhistory on FacebookTwitterInstagram, TiktokYouTube, and Tumblr.


The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Josh Landon

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New-York Historical Society

Marybeth Ihle