2023 New Deal Book Award Winners

Two authors share the 2023 New Deal Book Award.  The co-winners are:

Brooke Blower, Americans in a World at War: Intimate Histories from the Crash of Pan Am’s Yankee Clipper (Oxford) and Janneken Smucker, A New Deal for Quilts (International Quilt Museum, University of Nebraska-Lincoln).

The review committee thought that each book respectively represented an excellent example of social/historical analysis (Blower) and cultural analysis/history (Smucker).

The committee was also very taken with Derek Leebaert’s Unlikely Heroes (St. Martin’s Press) and has designated it as the “Second Prize” winner.

Given the depth of the pool of 2023 Award nominees, the committee highlighted other excellent books in their final round of deliberation, designating them as “Finalists”.

These books are: Mary Ann Calo and Epilogue by Jacqueline Francis, African American Artists and the New Deal Art Projects; Opportunity, Access, and Community (Penn State University Press); Ira Chernus and Randall Fowler, Something to Fear: FDR and the Foundations of American Insecurity, 1912-1945 (University Press of Kansas); Diana B. Henriques, Taming the Street (Random House); Craig Nelson, V is for Victory: Franklin Roosevelt’s American Revolution and the Triumph of World War II (Scribner); and Josh Sheppard, Shadow of the New Deal: The Victory of Public Broadcasting (University of Illinois Press).

Visit our list of past nominees and winners.

2023 Co-Winners

photo credit: Jackie Ricciardi for Boston University Photography

Brooke L. Blower, Americans in a World at War: Intimate Histories from the Crash of Pan Am’s Yankee Clipper, Oxford University Press, Publication Date:  August 29, 2023

Taking off from New York, the celebrated seaplane, the Yankee Clipper island-hopped its way across the Atlantic Ocean. Arriving at Lisbon the following evening, it crashed, killing twenty-four of its thirty-nine passengers and crew. Americans in a World at War traces the backstories of seven worldly Americans aboard that plane, their personal histories, their politics, and the paths that led them toward war.

Read the Committee’s review

Janneken Smucker, A New Deal for Quilts, International Quilt Museum, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Publication Date: December 1, 2023

During the Roosevelt Administration’s efforts to combat the Great Depression, the quilt became an emblem for how to lift one’s family out of poverty, piece by piece. A New Deal for Quilts explores how the U.S. government drew on quilts and quiltmaking, encouraging Americans to create quilts individually and collectively in response to unemployment, displacement, and recovery efforts.

Read the Committee’s review

Second Prize

Derek Leebaert, Unlikely Heroes: Franklin Roosevelt, His Four Lieutenants, and the World They Made, St. Martin’s Press, Publication Date: February 28, 2023

Only four people – Harry Hopkins, Harold Ickes, Frances Perkins, and Henry Wallace – served at the top echelon of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Administration from the frightening early months of spring 1933 until he died in April 1945, on the cusp of wartime victory. These lieutenants composed the tough, constrictive, long-term core of government. They built the great institutions being raised against the Depression, implemented the New Deal, and they were pivotal to winning World War II.

2023 New Deal Book Nominees


Melissa Estes Blair, Bringing Home the White House, University of Georgia Press

Melissa Estes Blair, Bringing Home the White House, University of Georgia Press, Publication Date: September 1, 2023


Brooke L. Blower, Americans in a World at War: Intimate Histories from the Crash of Pan Am’s Yankee Clipper, Oxford University Press

Brooke L. Blower, Americans in a World at War: Intimate Histories from the Crash of Pan Am’s Yankee Clipper, Oxford University Press, Publication Date:  August 29, 2023


Mary Ann Calo and Epilogue by Jacqueline Francis, African American Artists and the New Deal Art Projects; Opportunity, Access, and Community, Penn State University Press

Mary Ann Calo and Epilogue by Jacqueline Francis, African American Artists and the New Deal Art Projects; Opportunity, Access, and Community, Penn State University Press, Publication Date: May 16, 2023


Brent Cebul, Illusions of Progress: Business, Poverty, and Liberalism in the American Century, University of Pennsylvania Press

Brent Cebul, Illusions of Progress: Business, Poverty, and Liberalism in the American Century, University of Pennsylvania Press, Publication Date: March 14, 2023


Ira Chernus and Randall Fowler, Something to Fear: FDR and the Foundations of American Insecurity, 1912-1945 University Press of Kansas

Ira Chernus and Randall Fowler, Something to Fear: FDR and the Foundations of American Insecurity, 1912-1945 University Press of Kansas, Publication Date: November 17, 2023


Lisa Gail Collins, Stitching Love and Loss, University of Washington Press

Lisa Gail Collins, Stitching Love and Loss, University of Washington Press, Publication Date: June, 2023


Christopher C. Gorham, The Confidante: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Helped Win WWII and Shape Modern America,Citadel Press, an imprint of Kensington Books

Christopher C. Gorham, The Confidante: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Helped Win WWII and Shape Modern America, Citadel Press, an imprint of Kensington Books, Publication Date: February 21, 2023


Diana Henriques, Taming the Street, Random House

Diana Henriques, Taming the Street, Random House, Publication Date: September 12, 2023


Jennifer Peoples Hernandez, Belle Baranceanu: Life, Art and the New Deal Renaissance, Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield

Jennifer Peoples Hernandez, Belle Baranceanu: Life, Art and the New Deal Renaissance, Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield, Publication Date: February 2023


Derek Leebaert, Unlikely Heroes, Franklin Roosevelt, His Four Lieutenants, and the World They Made, St. Martin’s Press

Derek Leebaert, Unlikely Heroes: Franklin Roosevelt, His Four Lieutenants, and the World They Made, St. Martin’s Press, Publication Date: February 28, 2023


Craig Nelson V is for Victory: Franklin Roosevelt’s American Revolution and the Triumph of World War II, Scribner

Craig Nelson V is for Victory: Franklin Roosevelt’s American Revolution and the Triumph of World War II, Scribner, Publication Date: May 23, 2023


Michael Nelson, Vaulting Ambition: FDR’s Campaign to Pack the Supreme Court, University Press of Kansas

Michael Nelson, Vaulting Ambition: FDR’s Campaign to Pack the Supreme Court, University Press of Kansas, Publication Date: February 24, 2023


Kelly Pool and Mark Howe, editors, New Deal Archaeology in the West, University of Utah Press

Kelly Pool and Mark Howe, editors, New Deal Archaeology in the West, University of Utah Press, Publication Date: October 19, 2023


Heather Cox Richardson, Democracy Awakening, Viking/Penguin Random House

Heather Cox Richardson, Democracy Awakening, Viking/Penguin Random House, Publication Date: September 26, 2023


Christopher Sellers, Race and the Greening of Atlanta: Inequality, Democracy, and Environmental Politics in an Ascendant Metropolis, University of Georgia Press

Christopher Sellers, Race and the Greening of Atlanta: Inequality, Democracy, and Environmental Politics in an Ascendant Metropolis, University of Georgia Press, Publication Date: October 15, 2023


Josh Shepperd, Shadow of the New Deal: The Victory of Public Broadcasting, University of Illinois Press

Josh Shepperd, Shadow of the New Deal: The Victory of Public Broadcasting, University of Illinois Press, Publication Date: May 23, 2023


Janneken Smucker, A New Deal for Quilts, International Quilt Museum, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Janneken Smucker, A New Deal for Quilts, International Quilt Museum, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Publication Date: December 1, 2023

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