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Literature

Historian Charles King Wins Francis Parkman Prize

NEW YORK — Charles King's "Gods of the Upper Air," a group biography on such groundbreaking anthropologists as Franz Boas, Margaret Mead and Zora Neale Hurston, has received a prominent history award. Frances Fitzgerald won the first-ever Tony Horwitz Prize, established after the celebrated historian and journalist died last year. 

Also Tuesday, Robert Colby's "The Continuance of an Unholy Traffic: Slave Trading in the Civil War South" was given the Allan Nevins Prize for outstanding doctoral dissertation.

The awards were announced by the Society of American Historians, based at Columbia University. 

King's book won the Francis Parkman Prize, named for the 19th century historian and awarded for literary and scholarly achievement. Previous recipients include Robert A. Caro, David W. Blight and Eric Foner. 

Fitzgerald, best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning Vietnam War book "Fire In the Lake," was given the Horwitz Prize for "an author whose work in American history holds wide appeal and enduring public significance." Horwitz was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Wall Street Journal who also wrote for The New Yorker. His books included "Confederates in the Attic" and "Spying on the South." He is also a former president of the historians society.

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