Joshua A. Lynn has won the George and Ann Richards Prize for the best article published in The Journal of the Civil War Era for 2018. A committee formed from the editorial board selected his article, “A Manly Doughface: James Buchanan and the Sectional Politics of Gender,” for the $1,000 prize. The article appeared in the December issue.
Lynn’s essay draws from a wide variety of sources to show how sectional tensions and competing notions of gender intersected during the 1856 presidential campaign. In the words of the prize committee, Lynn’s deft analysis of the debates over James Buchanan’s fitness for the presidency shows that “concepts of manhood and masculinity could not be understood outside of sectional debates over slavery and sovereignty. Wildly divergent political characterizations of Buchanan’s bachelorhood and body revealed that gender itself had become ‘sectionalized by the intractable question of slavery.’” The committee praises the essay as an example of “sophisticated analysis communicated in clear and engaging prose and holding promise as a model for scholars in other fields of study.”
Lynn is assistant professor of history at Eastern Kentucky University. He is the author of Preserving the White Man’s Republic: Jacksonian Democracy, Race, and the Transformation of American Conservatism (University of Virginia Press, 2019). The book examines how the Democratic Party transformed the party’s traditions of majoritarianism and liberal individualism into a mechanism for preserving the mastery of white men on the eve of the Civil War. His current book project, tentatively titled The Black Douglass and the White Douglas, uses the relationship between Frederick Douglass and Stephen A. Douglas to examine race, gender, and rights in Civil War America.
Awarded annually, the Richards Prize celebrates the generosity of George and Ann Richards, who have been instrumental in the growth of the Richards Civil War Era Center and in the founding of The Journal of the Civil War Era.
For more information, visit https://www.journalofthecivilwarera.org/awards/richards-prize/.