UNH History Department

UNH History Professor Receives Two Awards for His Book on the South

By Erika Mantz
UNH News Bureau

April 23, 2002

DURHAM, N.H. -- J. William Harris, professor of history and chair of the department at the University of New Hampshire, recently received two awards for his book "Deep Souths: Delta, Piedmont, and Sea Island Society in the Age of Segregation." The book was also a finalist for this year's Pulitzer Prize in History.

Harris was co-winner of the James A. Rawley Prize for a book on the history of race relations in the United States from the Organization of American Historians and the Theodore Saloutos Prize for the best book in the field of U.S. agricultural history from the Agricultural History Society.

"Deep Souths" tells the stories of three southern regions from Reconstruction to World War II. Though the regions initially all had economies based on slave plantation labor in 1860, their histories diverged sharply during the three generations after the Reconstruction.

"We know a great deal about the earlier periods of southern history and about the Civil Rights movement. I wanted to know what made the Civil Rights movement possible," Harris says. "Much less has been written about the history of the South between the Civil War and World War II, and I wanted to be able to understand things on a very local level."

Harris has been on the UNH faculty since 1985. His areas of teaching and research expertise are Southern, African-American and Civil War history. A graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harris received his master's degree and Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University.

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