Visitors ages 12 and older are required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Learn more >


New-York Historical Society Awards Its Annual American History Book Prize to Robert Caro for Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power

$50,000 Prize and Title of American Historian Laureate to Be Presented at Weekend with History Gala, Friday, April 12

New York, NY, February 13, 2013 —Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, announced today that biographer Robert Caro, recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Critics Circle Awards and the National Book Award, will receive New-York Historical’s eighth annual American History Book Prize for Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power (Alfred A. Knopf, 2012). He will be presented with a $50,000 cash award, an engraved medal and the title of American Historian Laureate on April 12, 2013, during a black-tie dinner for 250 celebrating New-York Historical's eighth annual Chairman's Council Weekend with History event.

Roger Hertog, Chairman of the New-York Historical Society's Board of Trustees, stated: “If over a lifetime a writer can produce one or perhaps two great biographies, he will long be remembered and considered a master. Robert Caro has written five, and…he still keeps going.”

Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power fully embodies the intent of the New-York Historical Society’s Annual Book Prize competition,” said Louise Mirrer. “The depth of research is unquestionable, but perhaps even more importantly, it represents readable history at its very best, appealing at once to historians and non-professionals with its picture of a deeply flawed man transcending for a time his own weaknesses to shape the course of American history.”

Considered a universal favorite of the year by a Prize Committee comprised of historians and New-York Historical leadership, Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power was selected from a field of 134 submissions. The American History Book Prize was previously awarded to Doris Kearns Goodwin for Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln; David Nasaw for Andrew Carnegie; Daniel Walker Howe for What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848; Drew Gilpin Faust for This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War; Gordon S. Wood for Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815; Ron Chernow for George Washington: A Life; and John Lewis Gaddis for George F. Kennan: An American Life.

In 2010 Robert A. Caro received the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama. For his biographies of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson, Caro has twice won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, twice won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Nonfiction Book of the Year, and has also won virtually every other major literary honor, including the National Book Award, the Gold Medal in Biography from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Francis Parkman Prize, awarded by the Society of American Historians.

Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power is the fourth of a planned five volumes of The Years of Lyndon Johnson. Other volumes in the series are Master of the Senate (2002), Means of Ascent (1990), and The Path to Power (1982).

Pam Schafler, Vice Chair of the New-York Historical board and Chair of the Chairman's Council, noted: “Robert Caro is a towering political biographer and our Chairman’s Council members are among his greatest fans. His remarks will undoubtedly be a highlight at the black-tie dinner which kicks off our Weekend with History.”

Now in its eighth year, the Weekend with History is organized by the Chairman's Council of New-York Historical and features two days of informal conversations and presentations by leading scholars and cultural figures.

The Chairman's Council is comprised of New-York Historical's most committed supporters. Individuals may be invited to join the Council by New-York Historical Trustees and senior staff and by existing members of the Council. Annual dues are $5,000 (Member), $10,000 (Vice Chair), and $25,000 (Co-Chair). For more information on Weekend with History or the Chairman's Council, please contact Alyssa Venere at (212) 485-9221 or alyssa.venere@nyhistory.org.

Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13, 2013
Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University

Professor of History, Rice University

Documentary Filmmaker

President and Lincoln Professor of History, Harvard University

Editor, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer

"Streetscapes" Columnist, Sunday Real Estate Section, The New York Times

Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School

Author and Human Rights Activist

Chairman, Willett Advisors LLC

Chairman of the Board, City University of New York (CUNY)

Assistant Editor and Columnist, Financial Times

Ferris Professor of Journalism, Princeton University

Vice Chairman, Blackstone Advisory Partners LP

Charles J. Stille Professor of History, Yale University

About the New-York Historical Society
The New-York Historical Society, one of America's pre-eminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research and presenting history and art exhibitions and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered history of New York City and State and the country, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history.
New-York Historical is recognized for engaging the public with deeply researched and far-ranging exhibitions, such as Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America; Slavery in New York; Drawn by New York: Six Centuries of Watercolors and Drawings at the New-York Historical Society; Grant and Lee in War and Peace; Lincoln and New York; Nueva York (1613 – 1945); and Revolution! The Atlantic World Reborn. Supporting these exhibitions and related education programs is one of the world's greatest collections of historical artifacts, works of American art, and other materials documenting the history of the United States and New York.

Through May 27, 2013, New-York Historical is presenting WWII & NYC, a major new exhibition on the most widespread, destructive, and consequential conflict in history. WWII & NYC will restore to memory New York’s crucial and multi-faceted role in winning the war, the exhibition will commemorate the 900,000 New Yorkers who served in the military while also exploring the many ways in which those who remained on the home front contributed to the national war effort.

Press contact:
New-York Historical Society
Laura Washington
(212) 873-3400 x263

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Creative: Tronvig Group