by Jeremy Young | 10/31/2007 12:27:00 AM
Starting tomorrow, Cliopatria will throw open the floor for nominations for the Cliopatria Awards, the most prestigious awards in the history blogosphere. The Awards encompass all history blogging from December 1, 2006 through November 30, 2007, and grant mention only to content that is chiefly historical, not political, in nature. Awards will be presented at the Cliopatria Banquet at the American Historical Association Conference in Washington, DC in January. As I did last year, I will be making a series of nominations in the six categories: Best Individual Blog, Best Group Blog, Best New Blog, Best Post, Best Series of Posts, and Best Writer.

My nominations don't mean any more than anyone else's, and you're welcome to nominate anything you want if I didn't mention it. (Nominations require both a name and a link to the post or series of posts. If you have a specific ProgressiveHistorians post in mind, first check to see whether I've put it up here, then ask me and I'll try to resurrect it from the archive.) Also, unlike last year, I'll be nominating several non-PH bloggers in addition to my PH nominations, and also cutting down on the total number of nominations entirely (only one from me per category, except I'm nominating three pieces for Best Post). However, given my capacity as editor of ProgressiveHistorians, I thought I'd share an expanded version of my nominations here, complete with "honorable mentions" that won't actually be nominated (by me) for the Awards. Consider this my own personal list of ProgressiveHistorians Awards, in which inclusion, given the large volume of posts here over the past year (nearly 2,000), is itself an honor.

If you've got any posts you'd like to add to this discussion, feel free to mention them in comments (or to nominate them at Cliopatria), whether they're from this site or from somewhere else.



Best Individual Blog: Lisa Pease's Real History Blog. While I often disagree with her conclusions, Pease's research (focusing on theories of 1960's assassinations) is always incredibly exhaustive. She's that rare conspiracy theorist whose impeccable reasoning makes you constantly reevaluate your own scholarship.

Honorable Mention: Rachel Leow's A Historian's Craft; Zenpundit's eponymous blog; Ralph Brauer's The Strange Death of Liberal America; Kevin Levin's Civil War Memory; Dave Praeger's Poop the Book.

Best Group Blog: ProgressiveHistorians, of course! (Classic posts here; complete post archive here.)

Best New Blog: I'm proud to nominate Rachel Leow's A Historian's Craft, a vibrant and erudite voice that has burst onto the blogging scene. Rachel's willingness to tackle esoteric subjects with verve and insight, as well as her unforgettable "Bookporn" series, make this a must-read for all history bloggers.

Honorable mention: Paul Harvey et al's Religion in American History; our own PhDinHistory's eponymous blog.

Best Writing: In my view, David Kaiser is the best writer in the history blogosphere today, bar none. This was an easy choice.

Honorable mention: Unitary Moonbat at ProgressiveHistorians (link is to his Daily Kos page, which contains much the same content); Ralph Brauer at ProgressiveHistorians and The Strange Death of Liberal America; Rick Shenkman at POTUS.

Best Post: Three nominees in this category: Eugene, Whither -- or Whether -- Wikipedia?, a rumination on Wikipedia's role in the classroom drawing on themes from the late Roy Rosenzweig; midtowng, Into the Unknown Heart of America, an excellent retelling of Cabeza de Vaca's Western expedition; pico, Nous Sommes Tous Americains, and The Death of Irony, a skillful application of textual analysis to two post-9/11 public documents; all from ProgressiveHistorians.

Honorable Mention: James Livingston, Lincoln the Revolutionary; Yetimonk, A Jigsaw of School Shootings; Ralph Brauer, Harry Truman: The Welfare of the Whole People Should Come First and Bryan, Bryan, Bryan, Bryan (from The Strange Death of Liberal American); all, unless otherwise noted, from ProgressiveHistorians.

Best Series of Posts: With due respect to the several fantastic series that have been posted here this year, the runaway nominee in this category is Gordon Taylor's The Pasha and the Gypsy (2 3 4 5 6). Through a careful reinterpretation of sections of Zsa Zsa Gabor's two autobiographies, Taylor brings to life the vanished world of late Kemalist Turkey through the 15-year-old Gabor's eyes. Taken as a whole, these six essays constitute probably one of the two or three most powerful things I've ever read online in nearly five years of blogging. Every year there's one nomination in a Cliopatria category that I feel particularly strongly about; this is it for 2007. If I had one wish, it would be that Gordon would stop blogging and become a full-time paid essayist -- his stuff's that good, and believe me, I've seen a lot.

Honorable mention: Series by midtowng (Kurdistan), Ralph Brauer (Presidential rhetoric), Bastoche (the ongoing History and the Kagans), and Unitary Moonbat (several different series), all available in whole or in part here. Our folks are good at series!

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9 Comments:


Blogger Ralph Brauer on 11/03/2007 10:48 PM:

First, thank you for the kind mentions--I am a bit humbled, but as a former college professor, I do not think of my blog or my writing--other than in the two cases you mention (Truman and Bryan) as strictly history.

I would put in my vote for this site and for Lisa and disqualify myself. I also would VERY strongly support Gordon's work. It is amazing. I also liked Pico's literature series, but not sure how that fits. As for David Kaiser, no argument there nor over your other choices other than one.

The best post one is hard. I really thought Into the Unknown Heart of America was outstanding but I also liked Pico's piece. I think the winner in this has to have contributed an important, original piece of scholarship. I liked the Wikipedia post, but wonder if it is in the same class as the other two.

 

Blogger Ralph Brauer on 11/04/2007 10:48 AM:

I humbly le3ft your own posts off the list. Here are my nominations for your best posts:

The Problem with John Edwards’Urban Radicalism
In Search of a Foreign Policy Vision
Woodrow Wilson to historians: Stop lying about my record!
Wilson, the Bolsheviks, and an Engaged Foreign Policy
The Seriousness of History
The False History of Muslim Intolerance

What distinguishes these for me is the way you use the past to INFORM the present. That has been the heart of this blog which you have so ably personified.

 

Blogger Real History Lisa on 11/05/2007 9:11 AM:

Wow, Jeremy. I'm so incredibly honored, I can't tell you. I care so deeply about our history, and am thrilled that my efforts have caused you and others to question the official narratives of some of the more important events of our time.

There are so many wonderful posters and posts, and of course I support the nomination of Progressive Historians as well. But wow. Thanks much!!

 

Blogger Jeremy Young on 11/05/2007 3:53 PM:

Ralph, thanks for your comments, and for your kind words about my own "best posts." (Ironically, you and I have different views about which of my posts are the "best" -- it's always fascinating to hear what of my work has stirred interest in others.) As for Eugene's Wikipedia post, here I was choosing between two fantastic pieces by Eugene (the other being his wonderful symposium piece on neoliberalism), and I went with the Wikipedia article because it seemed more in line with the posts that have won Cliopatria awards in the past.

Lisa, you're most welcome. It's time the historical profession began engaging conspiracy theorists seriously, and your site is an excellent place to start. I harbor no illusions that it (or, indeed, anything I've nominated) will win the award, but it's my hope that the nomination will bring your work to the notice of a few more mainstream history bloggers.

 

Blogger Ralph Brauer on 11/05/2007 6:09 PM:

I liked the neoliberalism one much better. It really made me think.

 

Blogger pico on 11/06/2007 7:59 PM:

Hey thanks very much for the mention - it's greatly appreciated. Sorry I haven't been around much lately (it's job application time), but I'm diving back in fully this week.

Best of luck to everyone who's been nominated, and as I have some time during the week I'll send off some nominations myself. There's been some fantastic stuff on this site, and I'd be thrilled to see it get the recognition it deserves.

 

Blogger rachel on 11/10/2007 6:48 PM:

thank you so much for the (to-be?) nomination. I'm a little embarrassed, because A Historian's Craft started out (and still very much is) a space for working through often silly or poorly-thought-through thoughts. But I'm so grateful & honoured.

Also, thank you for the Pasha and the Gypsy link! it's wonderful -- I'll have you know that you've ruined my Saturday evening social engagements with it :)

 

Blogger Jeremy Young on 11/10/2007 7:18 PM:

The nomination has already been made, and is much deserved.

Isn't that series intoxicating? I've read it twice now, and it just gets better with rereading. Someday I hope I'll be able to approach that level of humanity in my historical writing.

BTW, you're not going to be at the AHA, are you? (Probably a little far to walk from Cambridge...). If you do happen to turn up in DC for it, you're very much invited to the ProgressiveHistorians meetup, date and time TBA.

 

Blogger rachel on 11/12/2007 6:13 PM:

a tiny bit too far, yes :) the transatlantic hop is not something I'd like to do right after the annual New Years' mayhem.

may I suggest dispatching an American contingent to partake of our brisk English academic climate instead. I will provide the tea.