Louisiana State University Shreveport professor of history, Dr. Alexander Mikaberidze, the Ruth Herring Noel Endowed Chair and curator of the James Smith Noel Collection, was recently announced as the winner of this year’s Gilder Lehrman Military History prize for his book The Napoleonic Wars: A Global History (Oxford University Press, 2020).
“The judging panel were hugely impressed by the sheer range—in terms of geography, chronology, and sources—that Alexander brought to bear. He is equally at home explaining what was happening in Persia, India, and the Americas as in the cockpit of the European fighting,” said Professor Andrew Roberts, chair of the judging committee.
“The Gilder Lehrman Prize in Military History is of international prominence and is highly competitive,” said Mikaberidze. “This year it featured over 70 titles, many of them by esteemed historians whose work I greatly admire. I am deeply honored and humbled.”
The prize-winning book, which has also garnered the Society for Military History’s 2021 Distinguished Book Award, looks at the Napoleonic Wars from a more holistic worldview. “Studying the vast body of scholarship dedicated to the Napoleonic era, I felt that the existing literature was too focused on events in Europe. The Napoleonic Wars had ramifications far beyond the European borders, so I decided to write a book showcasing the wider impact of this turbulent era,” said Mikaberidze. “My hope is that the readers will gain a better appreciation of the scope of the war that we can confidently call a ‘world war.’ Equally important, I think, is the broader lesson of breaking out of existing frameworks and casting a fresh look at existing historical narratives.”
The Gilder Lehrman award is bestowed annually to an author of military history whose work was published in English during the last calendar year. The $50,000 Gilder Lehrman Prize for Military History is an effort by the Gilder Lehrman Institute and the New-York Historical Society to highlight works distinguished by scholarship, contribution to the literature, and a broad appeal to both a general and an academic audience.
Mikaberidze will be honored in a virtual ceremony on November 4th. Tickets are free and available online.