Book of the Year Award

The American Journalism Historians Association Book of the Year Award recognizes the best books in journalism history or mass media history published during the previous calendar year.

For the 2022 award, the book must have been granted a first-time copyright in 2021. Nominated books may be co-authored, and edited collections will be considered. Authors may self-nominate, and we particularly encourage nominations of books by women, LGBTQ+ and BIPOC authors, as well as books that engage with critical theory as long as the major focus is history.

Four finalists will discuss their work at an awards panel at the 2022 American Journalism Historians Association Annual Convention, scheduled for Sept. 27 to Oct. 1 in Memphis, Tennessee. Following the panel presentations, the 2021 AJHA Book Award winner will be announced. Finalists must agree to register for and attend the AJHA conference and present at the panel.

To nominate a book for the award, please send the following preliminary materials digitally to Dr. Jane Marcellus at AJHAbookaward@gmail.com no later than Feb. 1, 2022. Please put BOOK NOMINATION in caps on the subject line.

  1. A cover letter that includes the following statement: “As the author (or editor) of this title nominated for the 2022 AJHA Book Award, I agree that if my book is chosen as a finalist, I will register for the 2022 American Journalism Historians Association Annual Convention in Memphis, Tennessee, attend the conference, and participate in the book award panel.”
  2. The book’s introduction.
  3. The book’s table of contents.
  4. Two sample chapters that represent the book’s best work. One may be the concluding chapter that sums up the book’s findings or argument.

After members of the Book Award Committee evaluate initial proposals, finalists will be invited to submit the complete published book by March 15, 2022. Finalists are welcome to submit PDFs or digital Advance Reader Copies in lieu of hard copies.

Please note that only submissions that follow this process will be accepted.

Questions? Contact Book Award Coordinator Dr. Jane Marcellus at AJHAbookaward@gmail.com.


John Maxwell Hamilton from Louisiana State University received the 2021 Book of the Year Award for  "Manipulating the Masses: Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of American Propaganda." Read about his recognition.

Past Winners

 2021
 John Maxwell Hamilton
 Manipulating the Masses: Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of American Propaganda
 2020 Mike Conway
Contested Ground: ‘The Tunnel’ and the Struggle over Television News in Cold War America
 2019Thomas Aiello
The Grapevine of the Black South: The Scott Newspaper Syndicate in the Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement
 2018 Steven Casey
The War Beat, Europe: The American Media at War Against Nazi Germany
 2017 Thomas HrachThe Riot Report and the News: How the Kerner Commission Changed Media Coverage of Black America
 2016 Leonard Teel
Reporting the Cuban Revolution: How Castro Manipulated American Journalists
 2015 Margot Opdycke Lamme
Public Relations and Religion in American History: Evangelism, Temperance, and Business
 2014    
 Carol Sue Humphrey
The American Revolution and the Press: The Promise of Independence
 2013 Richard K. Popp
The Holiday Makers: Magazines, Advertising, and Mass Tourism in Postwar America
 2012 Peter Hartshorn
I Have Seen the Future: A Life of Lincoln Steffens
 2011 Mark Feldstein
Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington's Scandal Culture
 2010 John Maxwell Hamilton
Journalism's Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting
 2009 Ford Risley
Abolition and the Press: The Moral Struggle Against Slavery
 2008 Mary A. Hamilton
Rising from the Wilderness: J.W. Gitt and His Legendary Newspaper
 2007 Gene Roberts & Hank Klibanoff
The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation
 2006 Laurel Leff
Buried by the Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper
 2005 David Paul Nord
Faith in Reading: Religious Publishing and the Birth of Mass Media in America
 2004 David Greenberg
Nixon's Shadow: The History of an Image
 2003Gregory C. Lisby & William F. Mugleston
Someone Had to be Hated: Julian LaRose Harris, A Biography
 2002 Michael Sweeney
Secrets of Victory: The Office of Censorship and the American Press and Radio in World War II
 2001 John C. Hartsock
A History of American Literary Journalism: The Emergence of a Modern Form

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