Columbia University Libraries Recognizes the 2024 Recipients of the Bancroft Prizes in American History and Diplomacy

Columbia University Libraries hosted a program on April 18 in recognition of the 2024 recipients of the Bancroft Prizes in American History and Diplomacy, awarded this year to Continental Reckoning: The American West in the Age of Expansion by Elliott West (University of Nebraska Press, 2023) and Fire and Rain: Nixon, Kissinger, and the Wars in Southeast Asia by Carolyn Woods Eisenberg (Oxford University Press, 2023). The annual event, organized in partnership with the Department of History and the Forum at Columbia University, included remarks by Ann Thornton, Vice Provost and University Librarian, and Michael Witgen, Professor of History at Columbia and 2024 Bancroft Chair, as well as conversations with the winners. The entire 2024 program is available to view on C-SPAN. (All photos by Diane Bondareff.)

Prior to the program, the 2024 Bancroft Prize recipients Elliott West (left) and Carolyn Woods Eisenberg signed copies of their winning works.
Vice Provost and University Librarian Ann Thornton pictured with Eisenberg and West.
Following introductory remarks by Thornton, 2024 Bancroft Chair and Columbia Professor of History Michael Witgen welcomed guests to the event, which featured conversations with both winners and members of the Bancroft jury.
Manisha Sinha, a member of the 2024 Bancroft jury and Draper Chair in American History at the University of Connecticut, spoke with West about his work, “Continental Reckoning,” which the jury called an “epic story of the re-birth of the United States beginning in the mid-nineteenth century.”
Juror Maria E. Montoya, Global Network Associate Professor of History at New York University, in conversation with Eisenberg about her work, “Fire and Rain,” a “sweeping, panoramic, and ultimately damning portrait of Nixon and Kissinger as architects of the wars in Southeast Asia,” according to the Bancroft jury.
Dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Carlos J. Alonso also recognized Hongdeng Gao, whose dissertation, “From Medical Schools to Free Clinics: Health Activism and Education in New York’s Chinatown, 1950-1980,” received the 2024 Bancroft Dissertation Award.
The formal program was followed by a reception, during which guests mingled with past and present Bancroft Prize winners.