Probably expected to most readers given the book’s performance thus far, we at The Junto are pleased to announce Edmund Morgan’s American Slavery, American Freedom to be the winner of the 2013 Early American History Tournament. Cronon put up a fight, but in the end Morgan pulled away with 65% of the vote. You could call this an end-to-end victory, since Morgan’s book received the most nominations, was never really challenged, and always seemed destined for the title. And this may be fitting: the book is magisterial in research, exquisitely written, and still relevant to any project on colonial history. (Not to mention it works great in the classroom!) It is a testament to its power that American Slavery is still en vogue three and a half decades after its release. Sure, there are problems, but the book still challenges and provokes any close reader, and that is one of scholarship’s true purposes.
Many thanks again to all who participated, whether it was nominating your favorite books, participating in the discussions, or voting in the various rounds. We had a much larger turnout than I even expected–and I had high hopes! More than 250 unique IP addresses registered votes, which means we have a broader readership and community than we originally thought. We hope you had fun, and perhaps were nudged to read a few books you hadn’t as of yet.
Ken Owen will have a post later on that includes reflections on the entire tournament. I’m sure we’ll have more discussions later, since these last few weeks have raised quite a few questions about various books, our community, and the field at large. We will then leave the sports arena and return to our high quality posts on various subjects.