Dr Sam Edwards, Senior Lecturer in American History at Manchester Metropolitan University, has been shortlisted for the Gladstone Prize for the best book on a non-British history subject for ‘Allies in Memory’ which he published last year.
The book explores the American commemoration following the second world war in the ruins of Europe. He looks at not only the plaques, stained-flass windows and commemorative signposts established by agents of the US government, but also those built by Americans who were personally mourning lost comrades. The book focuses on the processes and practices of commemoration in Normandy and East Anglia as Dr Edwards tells the study of post-war Euro-American cultural contact, and of the acts of transatlantic commemoration that this has bequeathed.
It was described as “enthralling”, “beautifully written”, and “carefully researched” by academics from a range of institutions.
Dr Edwards described Allies in Memory as “a labour of love, which in many respects ‘started’ when I was a teenager fascinated by the the wartime American presence ‘over here’. With a project that was so personal, you do get a little worried that you might have lost track of what other people will find important and interesting”.
The Gladstone Prize was launched by the Royal History Society in 1998 in honour of the value Gladstone placed on the study of history. The prize offers an annual award of £1,000 for a work of history on a topic not primarily related to British history that is the author’s first sole book publication.
Dr Edwards said of being shortlisted: “I was absolutely thrilled to hear that I’d been shortlisted by the Royal Historical Society for the Gladstone Prize. Judging by the outstanding work of last year’s joint-winners, competition for the number one spot will be intense, so I’m just over the moon to make the final list.”
The winner will be announced at a reception following the Prothero Lecture on 6 July 2016.
Buy Allies of Memory on Amazon.