Historian Wins Coveted Guggenheim-Lehrman


David Preston

David Preston ’94 received the Guggenheim-Lehrman Prize in Military History for Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution, published in 2015 by Oxford University Press.

The prize, which includes a $50,000 award, recognizes the most outstanding book in the field of military history published in English during the previous calendar year. Preston is its third recipient.

Braddock’s Defeat explores the disastrous fate of British regulars and American Colonial troops in Pennsylvania during the French and Indian War. It challenges the stale portrait of Gen. Edward Braddock as an arrogant European officer who refused to adapt to conditions in the New World. It also shows how the French and Indian coalition achieved victory through diplomacy, tactics, and leadership.

Preston is the Westvaco Professor of National Security Studies at The Citadel in Charleston, where he teaches cadets and officer candidates about U.S. military history and early American history. He majored in history at Mary Washington and earned a doctorate from the College of William & Mary.

Besides the Guggenheim-Lehrman Prize, Braddock’s Defeat won the Society for Military History’s Distinguished Book Award in U.S. History; the Association of American Publishers’ PROSE Award for U.S. History; and the French & Indian War Foundation’s Judge Robert Woltz History Award. It was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize.

Preston also is the author of The Texture of Contact: European and Indian Settler Communities on the Frontiers of Iroquoia, 1667-1783, published in 2009.

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