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Historian Wins Bancroft Prize for 'The Other Slavery'

Book Tells Story of Native American Enslavement

A landmark history by Professor Andrés ReséndezThe Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America, is the winner of a 2017 Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy.

The Other Slavery was one of three winners announced Monday by Columbia University. Reséndez's book was also named a finalist last fall for the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction.

The Other Slavery tells the sweeping story of the enslavement of tens of thousands of Native Americans, from the time of the conquistadors through the early 20th century. Reséndez builds a case that enslavement was more responsible than epidemics for the decimation of native populations across North America.

"Receiving the Bancroft Prize is an incredible honor," Reséndez said. "I am humbled by the notable historians who have gotten it over the years going back to 1948; and I am especially fond of the fact that our former colleague Alan S. Taylor and our current colleague Ari Kelman have gotten it."

Kelman won in 2014 for A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling Over the Memory of Sand Creek, about the Colorado site of an 1864 massacre of Cheyennes and Arapahos.

Taylor won in 1996 for William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic. The book also won Taylor the first of his two Pulitzer Prizes. He taught at UC Davis from 1994 to 2014. 

Bancroft Prize winners are judged in terms of the scope, significance, depth of research and richness of interpretation they present in the areas of American history and diplomacy. There were 239 books submitted for consideration for the 2017 prize.

The other 2017 Bancroft Prize winning books were Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy by Heather Ann Thompson, and Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers by Nancy Tomes.

Columbia Provost John H. Coatsworth will present the awards at the Bancroft Prize dinner next month. The Bancroft Prize includes an award of $10,000 to each author.

The prize was established in 1948 by the trustees of Columbia University with a bequest from the historian Frederic Bancroft.

Kathleen Holder, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science

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