Book RING OF STEEL chosen tonight in New York City ceremony

The book RING OF STEEL: Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I  by Alexander Watson was chosen tonight in a ceremony at the New-York Historical Society as the winner of the Guggenheim-Lehrman Prize in Military History. The prize carries a purse of $50,000 for the winning author.

RING OF STEEL was published by Basic Books in October 2014. It was chosen by a panel of judges earlier this year as one of the three finalists from almost 100 submissions. The Prize is awarded annually in recognition of the best book in the field of military history published in English during the previous calendar year.

 “This extraordinary book analyzes the first world war from the perspective of the Central Powers, something that is rarely, if ever, done,” said the chairman of the judging committee, Dr. Andrew Roberts. “In his excavation of 20 archives in five countries, Alexander Watson forces us to re-examine the whole war from a startling angle.”

 The two other books shortlisted for this year’s prize were THE OPIUM WAR: Drugs, Dreams, and the Making of Modern China by Julia Lovell (Overlook Press), and THE LONG SHADOW: The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century by David Reynolds (W.W. Norton). Last year’s inaugural prize was awarded to Allen Guelzo for his bestselling book GETTYSBURG: The Last Invasion (Knopf).

 The prize is funded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and Lewis E. Lehrman, co-founder of the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History, author, and champion of studies in American political and military history.

The judging panel for the prize comprises:

  • Andrew Roberts, Ph.D., British historian and journalist, Committee Chair
  • Charles F. Brower IV, Ph.D., Brigadier General, USA Retd, Henry King Burgwyn Professor of Military History, Virginia Military Institute
  • Josiah Bunting III, President of the HF Guggenheim Foundation; Recording Secretary to the Committee
  • Flora Fraser, author, Chair of the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography and founder of the Elizabeth Longford Grants for Historical Biography
  • W. Patrick Lang, former head of Middle East, South Asian, and Counter-Terrorist affairs in the Defense Intelligence Agency
  • Ralph Peters, Lt. Col., USA Retd, author and Fox News Strategic Analyst
  • Sir Hew Strachan, Ph.D., Chichele Professor in the History of War, All Souls, Oxford University

Alexander Watson is Lecturer in History at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has been a college Research Fellow and British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cambridge and, from 2011-13, a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow at the University of Warsaw. His first book, Enduring the Great War, won the Fraenkel Prize.

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Angela Baggetta



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