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Lorien Foote wins OAH Book Award

Dr. Lorien Foote, the Patricia & Bookman Peters Professor in History, won the OAH’s Civil War and Reconstruction Book Award for her 2021 monograph, Rites of Retaliation:  Civilization, Soldiers, and Campaigns in the Civil War with the University of North Carolina Press.  This prestigious OAH award goes to “the most original book on the coming of the Civil War, the Civil War years, or the Era of Reconstruction.”

Dr. Foote’s prize committee argued that Rites of Retaliation is “as innovative and provocative as it is impeccably researched and cogently argued.”   In this book Lorien focuses “on a military and legal concept” that structured “ritualized” sets of threats and responses that have “long been overlooked by historians.”  These formal, ritualized exchanges during the fog of war could enable “restraint” or contribute to “an acceleration of violence.”  A part of Dr. Foote’s “particular brilliance” on this book is the way in which it innovatively fleshes out the role of Black soldiers’ centrality to how Confederate and Union forces worked out the concept of retaliation in the Southeastern theatre of the Civil War.

If you’d like to read more the award dedication is on pg. 8 of the OAH Awards program here