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Last modified: Friday, March 18, 2011

IU historian receives Hawley Prize for Cold War book focusing on poverty, food politics

March 18, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- An Indiana University Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences historian has received the 2011 Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians for his work recounting a neglected battleground of the Cold War -- food -- in the book The Hungry World: America's Cold War Battle Against Poverty in Asia.

Nick Cullather

Nick Cullather

Print-Quality Photo

IU associate professor of history Nick Cullather's book was honored by the Organization of American Historians (OAH) because food, Cullather persuasively shows, occupied a central place in American policy makers' efforts to contain Communism, announced OAH Executive Director Katherine Finley.

"With its breadth, imagination, broad research agenda and sharp analytic edge, The Hungry World honors and expands on the legacy of Ellis Hawley and his work on the political economy of twentieth-century America," the Hawley Prize Committee wrote in making the announcement. "Blending political and intellectual history with agricultural history, diplomatic history, geography and the history of science, as well as constantly probing the links between domestic concerns and foreign imperatives, Cullather has provided stunning empirical depth to an emerging new template for studying globalization."

The committee noted that Cullather was able to rightly depict globalization as a fast-moving and unpredictable set of circuits where ideas, money and people flowed back and forth across national boundaries without ever fully erasing borders, traditions or the past, rather than operating in a unilinear, top-down manner.

The Hawley Prize is given annually for the best book-length historical study of the political economy, politics or institutions of the United States, in its domestic or international affairs, from the Civil War to the present. OAH President David A. Hollinger and President-Elect Alice Kessler-Harris will present the prize tomorrow (March 19) in Houston, Texas, during the 104th annual meeting of the organization. The prize is given in honor of Ellis W. Hawley, emeritus professor of history, University of Iowa, an outstanding historian of these subjects, and Cullather is the first historian associated with IU to receive the award.

Founded in 1907, OAH is the largest learned society and professional organization dedicated to the teaching and study of the American past. OAH promotes excellence in the scholarship, teaching, and presentation of American history, and encourages wide discussion of historical questions and equitable treatment of all practitioners of history. Members in the U.S. and abroad include college and university professors; students; precollegiate teachers; archivists, museum curators, and other public historians employed in government and the private sector.

To speak with Cullather or for more information, please contact Steve Hinnefeld, University Communications, at 812-856-3488 or