Best Book in Political History Prize
Benjamin Hoy, A Line of Blood and Dirt: Creating the Canada-United States Border across Indigenous Lands (OUP, 2021)
Sweeping in its temporal and geographic scope, A Line of Blood and Dirt: Creating the Canada-United States Border across Indigenous Lands (Oxford) offers an audacious intervention in the history of the border between Canada and the United States. By placing particular importance on the people who built or learned to live with the border – including government representatives, members of diaspora communities and Indigenous peoples – Benjamin Hoy deftly weaves a complex narrative of uneven development, administrative chaos and control, and multifaceted resistance. Based on extensive archival, oral and iconographic research, and introducing a wide range of perspectives from all sides of the border, A Line of Dirt and Blood makes an extraordinary contribution to our understanding of political boundaries and the people who shape and are shaped by them.
Pierre B. Berthelot, Duplessis is still alive (Septentrion, 2021)
The jury is pleased to award an honorable mention to Pierre B. Berthelot, Duplessis is still alive (Septentrion). This book is destined to become the definitive synthesis of Maurice Duplessis, Duplessism and the Union Nationale in Quebec’s memory, from the 1930s to today. The author shows the intertwining of realities and perceptions concerning the “Chief”, what he has meant and continues to mean. The character, work and legacy of Maurice Duplessis are complex. Pierre B. Berthelot gives access to these various keys to reading with sensitivity. The author carefully examines – even exhaustively – the sources (from scholarly books to comic strips, songs, radio and television, manuals, caricatures, plays and films). The result is an original work, both erudite and accessible.