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Baylor University recognizes Dr. Nancy Beck Young with inaugural book award

Young’s Why We Fight honored with 2014 Guittard Book Award for Historical Scholarship

Dr. Young

Nancy Beck Young, chair of the Department of History, will receive at the end of October, the inaugural Guittard Book Award for Historical Scholarship. Her monograph, Why We Fight: Congress and the Politics of World War II, was selected by the Department of History at Baylor University as this year’s winner.

“I am quite honored and humbled by this prize,” said Dr. Young. “I never research and write a book with the expectation of winning an award. Instead, I just hope that I can contribute to and redirect the scholarly debate.”

In Why We Fight, Dr. Young argues that the illusion of cooperative congressional behavior during World War II actually masked internecine party warfare over the New Deal. She establishes through her research that this wartime political dynamic established the dominant patterns for national politics through the remainder of the century.

The Guittard Book Award was established as annual prize in 2013 to recognize “a distinguished work of original scholarship in any area of history written by a current or emeritus member of the faculty of the Baylor Department of History or by any graduate holding a degree in history from Baylor University.”

The honor is named for Dr. Francis Gevrier Guittard, who taught at Baylor University from 1902 until his death in 1950 and served as the chair of Baylor’s Department of History for 38 years.

Each annual winner is selected by a committee of three credentialed historians, none of who are members of Baylor’s History Department faculty. A $1,000 cash prize accompanies the award.

“Gaining this recognition is both unexpected and exciting, all the more so because it comes from my undergraduate alma mater, Baylor University,” Dr. Young said. “Baylor has a fine History Department that has sent countless undergraduate majors (I’m just one of many) and M.A. students on to Ph.D. work. I’m looking forward to the ceremony at the end of October.”

The Oct. 31 award presentation will be held on Baylor’s campus during the university’s Baylor’s homecoming weekend celebrations.