University of Arkansas Historian Wins Prestigious $50,000 Prize for Book on the Civil War

The cover of A Savage Conflict, winner of two national awards for its innovative look at the role of guerrilla warfare in determining the outcome of the Civil War.
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The cover of A Savage Conflict, winner of two national awards for its innovative look at the role of guerrilla warfare in determining the outcome of the Civil War.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Professor Dan Sutherland has been awarded the Tom Watson Brown Award, a $50,000 book prize given out by the Society of Civil War Historians, in recognition of his innovative work, A Savage Conflict: The Decisive Role of Guerillas in the American Civil War.

Sutherland is a professor of history in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. The Society of Civil War Historians gives the Tom Watson Brown Award annually for the outstanding book looking into causes, conduct and the effects of the Civil War.

The book has also won the Distinguished Book Prize of the Society of Military History. The Society for Military History, established in 1933, has an international membership of over 2,000 “scholars, soldiers, and citizens” interested in military history.

Sutherland's A Savage Conflict is the first book to treat guerrilla warfare as critical to understanding the course and outcome of the Civil War. In this meticulously researched account, Sutherland argues that irregular warfare took a large toll on the Confederate war effort by weakening support or state and national governments and diminishing the trust citizens had in their officials to protect them.

Sutherland is author or editor of 13 books, and he has published more than 40 book chapters and articles in both popular magazines and scholarly journals. He has received more than 30 honors, awards and research grants. Five of his books have been selected by the History Book Club. His next book, Civil War Guerrillas, will appear with Praeger in 2012, and he recently completed a full draft of James Abbott McNeill Whistler: A Life for Art's Sake.


Daniel Sutherland, professor, department of history
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences

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