Bruce Henderson Wins the Gilder Lehrman Military History Prize

Bruce Henderson, winner of the 2023 Gilder Lehrman Military History Prize for "Bridge to the Sun"Bruce Henderson has been awarded the tenth annual Gilder Lehrman Military History Prize for Bridge to the Sun: The Secret Role of the Japanese Americans Who Fought in the Pacific in World War II (Knopf).

The $50,000 prize is bestowed in recognition of the best English language book published in 2022 in the field of American military history. This is the first year the focus of the prize is on American rather than global military history, in keeping with the mission of the Gilder Lehrman Institute to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history.

An event celebrating the winner and the shortlisted authors will take place on Monday, December 4, hosted by the New-York Historical Society. Tickets to attend this free program—in person or via livestream—are available here.

One of the last, great untold stories of World War II, Bridge to the Sun tells the saga of the Japanese American US Army soldiers who fought in the Pacific theater, as their families back home in America were being rounded up and held in government internment camps. It is a gripping, true tale of courage, sacrifice, and adventure. Bridge to the Sun reveals the harrowing and largely untold story of the Nisei and their major contributions in the Pacific war through the experiences of six Japanese American soldiers. After the war, many of these Nisei became translators and interrogators for war crime trials and later helped rebuild Japan as a modern democracy and a pivotal US ally.

Henderson is the author of more than twenty nonfiction books, among them Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the US Army to Fight Hitler and True North: Peary, Cook, and the Race to the Pole. He is the co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller And the Sea Will Tell (with Vincent Bugliosi). Henderson is also an award-winning journalist who has taught reporting and writing at the USC School of Journalism and Stanford University and has worked as an investigative reporter for several newspapers, including the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. He attended college on the GI Bill and served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War.