A book co-authored by Kean University Professor Emeritus Mark Edward Lender, Ph.D. – Fatal Sunday: George Washington, the Monmouth Campaign, and the Politics of Battle – has been named a finalist for the George Washington Prize. The annual award recognizes the best-written works on the nation’s founding era from the previous year, especially those that have the potential to advance a broader public understanding of early American history. This year’s finalists include previous Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners.
Lender’s Fatal Sunday co-author is Garry Wheeler Stone, Ph.D., a retired regional historian for the State Park Service and historian for Monmouth Battlefield State Park.
“The George Washington Prize is one of the holy grails in early American history,” said Lender. “Garry Stone and I are extremely pleased, to say the least, to have Fatal Sunday named one of the seven finalists. We’re in the company of the best historians in the early American field.”
A distinguished jury comprised of notable historians including David Preston, Kathleen DuVal and Nick Bunker, selected the finalists from a field of nearly 60 books. The nominated works combine depth of scholarship with vivid prose that illuminates the complexities of America’s founding narrative.
“The George Washington Prize is among the largest and most prestigious literary awards in America in any field and highlights the most outstanding scholarship in early American history that appeals to the public as well as academics,” said Kean University History Department Chair Jonathan Mercantini, Ph.D. “Nomination for this award is a tremendous honor for Dr. Lender and Dr. Stone. The book offers what will now be the standard interpretation of a key event in New Jersey and American history, the Battle of Monmouth, and sheds important new light on George Washington and the Continental Army.”
A portion of Fatal Sunday is devoted to the political threats to General Washington’s command, largely dispelled as a result of the Monmouth campaign. Lender’s next book will closely examine the “Conway Cabal,” a conspiracy against Washington.
Fatal Sunday also received The Society for Military History’s 2017 Distinguished Book Award. The winner of the 2017 George Washington Prize will be announced on Thursday, May 25 at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. For more information, visit: washcoll.edu/gwbookprize.