He won a National Humanities Medal in 2005 and has gained fame among Yalies for his lectures on the Cold War, but that’s not it for history professor John Lewis Gaddis.
Gaddis, who teaches a History Department junior seminar on biography writing, was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award on Saturday for his biography of American statesman George F. Kennan. The book was nearly 30 years in the making, as Kennan gave Gaddis unprecedented access to thousands of pages of his diary and other papers on the condition that the book be published after his death.
The other contenders for the biography honor are below:
- Mary Gabriel, a journalist who wrote about Karl Marx in her book “Love and Capital”
- Paul Hendrickson, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, for “Hemingway’s Boat”
- Manning Marable, a professor at Columbia, for a biography of Malcolm X published after Marable’s death in April 2011
- Ezra Vogel, a professor at Harvard, for “Deng Xiaoping”
The National Book Critics Circle gives awards annually to one book in each of six categories: autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction and poetry. We’re pulling for you, JLG.