Bolton-Johnson Prize

Best book in English on Latin American history published in the previous year.

The Herbert E. Bolton prize was established in 1956. It was enhanced in 2000 by a generous donation from Dr. John J. Johnson and is now the  Bolton-Johnson Prize. It is awarded for the best book in English on any significant aspect of Latin American History that is published anywhere during the imprint year previous to the year of the award. Sound scholarship, grace of style, and importance of the scholarly contribution are among the criteria for the award. Normally not considered for the award are translations, anthologies of selections by several authors, reprints or re-editions or works published previously, and works not primarily historiographical in aim or content. An Honorable Mention Award may be made for an additional distinguished work deemed worthy by the Bolton-Johnson Prize Committee. In exceptional cases, the book award committee may decide on co-winners. The co-winners will split the prize. In such cases, there would not be an honorable mention.


Seth GarfieldGuaraná: How Brazil Embraced the World’s Most Caffeine-Rich Plant (University of North Carolina Press, 2022)
Paulina AlbertoBlack Legend: The Many Lives of Raúl Grigera and the Power of Racial Storytelling in Argentina (Cambridge University Press, 2022)

Diana Montaño
, Electrifying Mexico: Technology and the Transformation of a Modern City (University of Texas Press, 2021)

Sylvia Sellers-García,
The Woman on the Windowsill: A Tale of Mystery in Several Parts (Yale University Press 2020)

Natalia Milanesio, ¡Destape!: Sex, Democracy, and Freedom in Postdictatorial Argentina (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019)
Honorable Mention:
Ryan Crewe, The Mexican Mission: Native Survival and Mendicant Enterprise in New Spain, 1521-1600 (Cambridge University Press, 2019)

Maria Cristina Soriano Gómez, Tides of Revolution: Information, Insurgencies, and the Crisis of Colonial Rule in Venezuela (University of New Mexico Press, 2018)
Honorable Mention:
Jesse CromwellThe Smugglers’ World: Illicit Trade and Atlantic Communities in Eighteenth-Century Venezuela (University of North Carolina Press, 2018)

Peter Guardino, The Dead March: A History of the Mexican-American War (Harvard University Press, 2017)
Honorable Mention:
Pablo Gomez, The Experiential Caribbean: Creating Knowledge and Healing in the Early Modern Atlantic (University of North Carolina Press, 2017)

Celso Castilho, Slave Emancipation and Transformations in Brazilian Political Citizenship (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016)
Honorable Mention:
Marcela Echeverri, Indian and Slave Royalists in the Age of Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2016)

Ann Twinam, Purchasing Whiteness: Pardos, Mulattos, and the Quest for Social Mobility in the Spanish Indies (Stanford University Press, 2015)
Honorable Mention:
Christopher Boyer, Political Landscapes: Forests, Conservation, and Community in Mexico (Duke University Press, 2015)

Thomas Klubock, La Frontera: Forests and Ecological Conflict in Chile’s Frontier Territory (Duke University Press, 2014)
Honorable Mention
Sebastián Carassai, The Argentine Silent Majority: Middle Classes, Politics, Violence, and Memory in the Seventies (Duke University Press, 2014)

Robert W. Patch, Indians and the Political Economy of Colonial Central America, 1670-1810 (Oklahoma University Press, 2013)
Honorable Mention:
Seth Garfield, In Search of the Amazon: Brazil, the United States, and the Nature of a Region (Duke University Press, 2013)

Rebecca Earle, The Body of the Conquistador: Food, Race, and the Colonial Experience in South America, 1492-1700 (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
Honorable Mention:
Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo, I Speak of the City: Mexico City at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (Chicago University Press, 2012)

John Tutino, Founding Capitalism in the Bajío and Spanish North America (Duke University Press, 2011)

Richard Graham, Feeding the City: From Street Market to Liberal Reform in Salvador, Brazil (University of Texas Press, 2010)
Honorable Mention:
Jane Landers, Atlantic Creoles in the Age of Revolutions (Harvard University Press, 2010)

Robin Derby, The Dictator’s Seduction: Politics and the Popular Imagination in the Era of Trujillo (Duke University Press, 2009)

Stuart Schwartz, All Can Be Saved: Religious Tolerance and Salvation in the Iberian Atlantic World (Yale University Press, 2008)

Cynthia E. Milton, The Many Meanings of Poverty: Colonialism, Social Compacts and Assistance in Eighteenth Century Ecuador (Stanford University Press, 2007)
Honorable Mention:
Rebecca Earle, The Return of the Native: Indians and Myth-making in Spanish America, 1810-1930 (Duke University Press, 2007)

Steve Stern, Battling for Hearts and Minds: Memory Struggles in Pinochet’s Chile, 1973-1988 (Duke University Press, 2006)

Florencia Mallon, Courage Tastes of Blood: The Mapuche Community of Nicholás Ailío and the Chilean State, 1906-2001 (Duke University Press, 2005)
Honorable Mention:
Susan Ramirez, To Feed and be Fed: The Cosmological Bases of Authority and Identity in the Andes (Stanford University Press, 2005)

Emilio Kourí, A Pueblo Divided: Business, Property and Community in Papantla, Mexico (Stanford University Press, 2004)
Honorable Mention:
Bryan McCann, Hello, Hello Brazil: Popular Music in the Making of Modern Brazil (Duke University Press, 2004)

Richard Lee Turits, Foundations of Despotism: Peasants, the Trujillo Regime, and Modernity in Dominican History (Stanford University Press, 2003)
Honorable Mention:
Linda Lewin. Surprise Heirs I: Illegitimacy, Patrimonial Rights, and Legal Nationalism in Luso-Brazilian Inheritance, 1750-1821, and Surprise Heirs II: Illegitimacy, Inheritance Rights, and Public Power in the Formation of Imperial Brazil, 1822-1889 (Stanford University Press, 2002 and 2003)

Jean Franco, The Decline and Fall of the Lettered City: Latin America in the Cold War (Harvard University Press, 2002)
Honorable Mention:
John Hart, Empire and Revolution: The Americans in Mexico Since the Civil War (University of California Press, 2002)

Eric Van Young, The Other Rebellion: Popular Violence, Ideology, and the Mexican Struggle for Independence, 1810-1821 (Stanford University Press, 2001)
Honorable Mention:
Kevin Terraciano, The Mixtecs of Colonial Oaxaca: Ñudzahui History, Sixteenth through Eighteenth Centuries (Stanford University Press, 2001)

Ann Farnsworth-Alvear, Dulcinea in the Factory: Myths, Morals, Men, and Women in Colombia’s Industrial Experiment, 1905-1960 (Duke University Press, 2000)

Louis A. Pérez, On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality and Culture (University of North Carolina Press, 1999)
Honorable Mention:
Ann Twinam, Public Lives, Private Secrets: Gender, Honor, Sexuality, and Illegitimacy in Colonial Spanish America (Stanford University Press, 1999)

Friedrich Katz, The Life and Times of Pancho Villa (Stanford University Press, 1998)
Jose C. Moya, Cousins and Strangers: Spanish Immigrants in Buenos Aires, 1850-1930 (University of California Press, 1998)

Mary Kay Vaughan, Cultural Politics in Revolution: Teachers, Peasants, and Schools in Mexico, 1930-1940 (University of Arizona Press, 1997)
Honorable Mention:
Rosalie Schwartz, Pleasure Island: Tourism and Temptation in Cuba (University of Nebraska Press, 1997)

William B. Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred: Priest and Parishioners in Eighteenth Century Mexico (Stanford University Press, 1996)
Honorable Mentions:
Thomas F. O’Brien, The Revolutionary Mission: American Enterprises in Latin America, 1900-1940 (Cambridge University Press, 1996)
Susan E. Ramírez, The World Upside Down: Cross-Cultural Contact and Conflict in Sixteenth Century Peru (Stanford University Press, 1996)

Warren Dean, posthumous, With Broad Axe and Firebrand: the Destruction of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (University of California Press, 1995)

Elinor G. K. Melville, A Plague of Sheep: Environmental Consequences of the Conquest of Mexico (Cambridge University Press, 1994)
Honorable Mentions:
David J. McCreery, Rural Guatemala, 1760-1940 (Stanford University Press, 1994)
R. Douglas Cope, The Limits of Racial Domination: Plebeian Society in Colonial Mexico City, 1660-1720 (University of Wisconsin Press, 1994)

Enrique Tandeter, Coercion and Market: Silver Mining in Colonial Potosi, 1692-1826 (University of New Mexico Press, 1992)
Honorable Mention:
Nils Jacobsen, Mirages of Transition: The Peruvian Altiplano, 1780- 1930 (University of California Press, 1993)

James Lockhart, The Nahuas After the Conquest: A Social and Cultural History of the Indians of Central Mexico, Sixteenth through Eighteenth Centuries (Stanford University Press, 1992)
Honorable Mentions:
Susan Deans-Smith, Bureaucrats, Planters, and Workers: The Making of the Tobacco Monopoly in Bourbon Mexico (University of Texas Press, 1992)
Alida Metcalf, Family and the Frontier in Colonial Brazil: Santana de Parnaiba, 1580-1822 (University of California Press, 1992)

Ramón Gutierrez, When Jesus Came, The Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality and Power in New Mexico, 1300-1846 (Stanford University Press, 1991)
Honorable Mention:
Sabine MacCormack, Religion in the Andes: Vision and Imagination in Colonial Peru (Princeton University Press, 1991)

Ann M. Wightman, Indigenous Migration and Social Change: The Forasteros of Cuzco, 1520-1720 (Duke University Press, 1990)
Honorable Mention:
Hilda Sábato, Agrarian Capitalism and the World Market: Buenos Aires in the Pastoral Stage, 1840-1890 (University of New Mexico Press, 1990)

Charles A. Hale, The Transformation of Liberalism in Late Nineteenth-Century Mexico (Princeton University Press, 1989)
Ida Altman, Emigrants and Society: Extremadura and Spanish America in the Sixteenth Century (University of California Press, 1989)

Patricia Seed, To Love, Honor, and Obey in Colonial Mexico: Conflicts over Marriage Choice, 1574-1821 (Stanford University Press, 1988)
Honorable Mention:
Joseph C. Miller, Way of Death: Merchant Capitalism and the Angolan Slave Trade, 1730-1830 (University of Wisconsin Press, 1988)

Inga Clendinnen, Ambivalent Conquests: Spaniard and Maya in Yucatan, 1517-1570 (Cambridge University Press, 1987)
Honorable Mention:
Linda Lewin, Politics and Parentela in Paraíba: A Case Study of Family Based Oligarchy in Brazil (Princeton University Press, 1987)

Alan Knight, The Mexican Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2 vols., 1986)
Honorable Mention:
Charles W. Bergquist, Labor in Latin America: Comparative Essays on Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, and Colombia (Stanford University Press, 1986)

Stuart B. Schwartz, Sugar Plantations in the Formation of Brazilian Society: Bahia, 1550-1835 (Cambridge University Press, 1985)
Honorable Mention:
Silvia Marina Arrom, The Women of Mexico City, 1790-1857 (Stanford University Press, 1985)

Nancy M. Farriss, Maya Society under Colonial Rule: The Collective Enterprise of Survival (Princeton University Press, 1984)
Honorable Mention:
Karen Spalding, Huarochirí: An Andean Society under Inca and Spanish Rule (Stanford University Press, 1984)

Woodrow Borah, Justice By Insurance: The General Indian Court of Colonial Mexico and the Legal Aides of the Half-Real (University of California Press, 1983)
Honorable Mention:
Florencia Mallon, The Defense of Community in Peru’s Central Highlands: Peasant Struggles and Capitalist Transition, 1860-1940 (Princeton University Press, 1983)

Anthony Pagden, The Fall of Natural Man: The American Indian and the Origins of Comparative Ethnology (Cambridge University Press, 1982)
Honorable Mentions:
Nathaniel Leff, Underdevelopment and Development in Nineteenth-Century Brazil (Allen and Unwin, 1982)
Steve J. Stern, Peru’s Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest: Huamanga to 1640 (University of Wisconsin Press, 1982)

Friedrich Katz, The Secret War in Mexico: Europe, the United States and the Mexican Revolution (University of Chicago Press, 1981)
Honorable Mention:
Walter Rodney, A History of the Guyanese Working People, 1881-1905 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981)

Herman W. Konrad, A Jesuit Hacienda in Colonial Mexico: Santa Lucía, 1576-1767 (Stanford University Press, 1981)
Honorable Mention:
George Reid Andrews, The Afro-Argentines of Buenos Aires, 1800-1900 (University of Wisconsin Press, 1980)

Jonathan C. Brown, A Socioeconomic History of Argentina, 1776-1860 (Cambridge University Press, 1979)
Honorable Mentions:
David Brading, Haciendas and Ranchos in the Mexican Bajío, 1700-1860 (Cambridge University Press, 1978)
William B. Taylor, Drinking, Homicide, and Rebellion in Colonial Mexican Villages (Stanford University Press, 1980)

Paul Drake, Socialism and Populism in Chile, 1932-52 (University of Illinois Press, 1978)
Honorable Mentions:
John K. Chance, Race and Class in Colonial Oaxaca (Stanford University Press, 1978)
Susan M. Socolow, The Merchants of Buenos Aires, 1778-1810 (Cambridge University Press, 1978)

Christon I. Archer, The Army in Bourbon Mexico, 1760-1810 (University of New Mexico Press, 1977)
Honorable Mention:
John D. Wirth, Minas Gerais in the Brazilian Federation, 1889-1937 (Stanford University Press, 1977)

Doris M. Ladd, The Mexican Nobility at Independence, 1780-1826 (University of Texas Press, 1976)
Honorable Mention:
Warren Dean, Rio Claro: A Brazilian Plantation System, 1820-1920 (Stanford University Press, 1976)

David Rock, Politics in Argentina, 1890-1930: The Rise and Fall of Radicalism (Cambridge University Press, 1975)
Honorable Mentions:
Charles H. Harris, III, A Mexican Family Empire: The Latifundio of the Sánchez Navarro Family, 1765-1867 (University of Texas Press, 1975)
Stanley E. Hilton, Brazil and the Great Powers, 1930-1939 (University of Texas Press, 1975)

Frederick P. Bowser, The African Slave in Colonial Peru, 1524-1650 (Stanford University Press, 1974)
Honorable Mentions:
James R. Scobie, Buenos Aires: Plaza to Suburb, 1870-1910 (Oxford University Press, 1974)
Thomas E. Skidmore, Black into White: Race and Nationality in Brazilian Thought (Oxford University Press, 1974)

Warren L. Cook, Flood Tide of Empire: Spain and the Pacific Northwest, 1543-1819 (Yale University Press, 1974)
Honorable Mentions:
Stuart B. Schwartz, Sovereignty and Society in Colonial Brazil: The High Court of Bahia and its Judges, 1609-1751 (University of California Press, 1973)
Frank D. McCann, Jr., The Brazilian-American Alliance, 1937-1945 (Princeton University Press, 1974)

Peter J. Bakewell, Silver Mining and Society in Colonial Mexico: Zacatecas, 1546-1700 (Cambridge University Press, 1971)
Honorable Mention:
William B. Taylor, Landlord and Peasant in Colonial Oaxaca (Stanford University Press, 1972)

D.A. Brading, Miners and Merchants in Bourbon Mexico, 1763-1810 (Cambridge University Press, 1971)
Honorable Mention:
Joseph L. Love, Rio Grande Do Sul and Brazilian Regionalism, 1882-1930 (Stanford University Press, 1971)

John D. Wirth, The Politics of Brazilian Development, 1930-1954 (Stanford University Press, 1970)
Honorable Mentions:
John Hemming, The Conquest of the Incas (Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1970)
J.R. Fisher, Government and Society in Colonial Peru: The Intendant System, 1784-1814 (Athalone Press, University of London, 1970)

John Womack, Jr., Zapata and the Mexican Revolution (Alfred A. Knopf, 1968)
Honorable Mentions:
Cecil Alan Hutchinson, Frontier Settlements in Mexican California: The Hijar Padres Colony and Its Origins, 1769-1835 (Yale University Press, 1969)
Robert A. Potash, The Army and Politics in Argentina, 1828-1945 (Stanford University Press, 1969)

A.J.R. Russell-Wood, Fidalgos and Philanthropists: The Santa Casa de Misericórdia of Bahia, 1550-1755 (University of California Press, 1968)
Richard Graham, Britain and the Onset of Modernization in Brazil, 1850-1914 (Cambridge University Press, 1968)
Honorable Mentions:
Dauril Alden, Royal Government in Colonial Brazil: With Special Reference to the Administration of the Marquis of Lavradio, Viceroy, 1769-1779 (University of California Press, 1968)
James M. Lockhart, Spanish Peru, 1532-1560; A Colonial Society (University of Wisconsin Press, 1968)

James W. Wilke, The Mexican Revolution: Federal Expenditure and Social Change since 1910 (University of California Press, 1967)
Honorable Mention:
Simon Collier, Ideas and Politics of Chilean Independence, 1808-1833 (Cambridge University Press, 1967)
John L. Phelan, The Kingdom of Quito in the Seventeenth Century (University of Wisconsin Press, 1967)

E. Bradford Burns, The Unwritten Alliance: Rio Branco and Brazilian-American Relations (Columbia University Press, 1966)
Honorable Mentions:
John Preston Moore, The Cabildo in Peru under the Bourbons (Duke University Press, 1966)
Ralph Lee Woodward, Class Privileges and Economic Development: The Consulado de Comercio in Guatemala, 1793-1871 (University of North Carolina Press, 1966)

Robert N. Burr, By Reason or Force: Chile and the Balancing of Power in South America, 1830-1905 (University of California Press, 1965)
Honorable Mention:
William J. Griffith, Empires in the Wilderness: Foreign Colonization and Development in Guatemala, 1834-1844 (University of North Carolina Press, 1965)

Charles Gibson, The Aztecs Under Spanish Rule: A History of the Indians of the Valley of Mexico, 1519-1810 (Stanford University Press, 1964)
Honorable Mention:
James Scobie, Revolution on the Pampas: A Social History of Argentine Wheat (University of Texas Press, 1964)

Fredrick B. Pike, Chile and the United States, 1880-1962: the Emergence of Chile’s Social Crisis and the Challenge to United States Diplomacy (University of Notre Dame Press, 1963)

Frank Tannenbaum, Ten Keys to Latin America (Alfred A. Knopf, 1962)

Bryce Wood, The Making of the Good Neighbor Policy (Columbia University Press, 1961)

Robert E. Quirk, The Mexican Revolution, 1914-1915 (Indiana University Press, 1960)
Honorable Mention:
E. David Cronon, Josephus Daniels in Mexico (Indiana University Press, 1960)

Irving A. Leonard, Baroque Times in Old Mexico: Seventeenth Century Persons, Places, and Practices (University of Michigan Press, 1959)

John J. Johnson, Political Change in Latin America: The Emergence of the Middle Sectors (Stanford University Press, 1958)
Robert J. Schafer, The Economic Societies in the Spanish World, 1763-1821 (Syracuse University Press, 1958)

Stanley J. Stein, Vassouras: A Brazilian Coffee Country, 1850-1900 (Harvard University Press, 1957)

John Tate Lanning, The Eighteenth Century Enlightenment in the University of San Carlos de Guatemala (Cornell University Press, 1956)

Bolton-Johnson Prize Committees (Chair listed first):

2024 Tatiana Seijas, Tamara Walker, Benjamin Cowan

2023 Gabe Paquette, Mark Healey, Yuko Miki

2022 Herman Bennett, Joel Wolfe, Sonya Lipsett-Rivera

2021 David Sartorius, Sonya Lipsett-Rivera, Angela Vergara

2020 Fabricio Prado, Peter Guardino, Christina Ramos

2019 Camilla Townsend, Keila Grinberg, Pablo Gómez

2018 Shawn Miller, Edward Murphy, Marcela Echeverri

2017 Bryan McCann, Jane Mangan, Susie Porter

2016 Jocelyn Olcott, Thomas Klubock, Robert Patch

2015 Doug Cope, Aline Helg, David Sheinin

2014 Alan Knight, Rebecca Earle, Heidi Tinsman

2013 Asunción Lavrín, Kris Lane, Alejandro de la Fuente

2012 Richard Graham, Emilio Kourí, Martha Few

2011 Robin Derby, Raymond Craib, Brian Owensby

2010 Brodwyn Fischer, Rebecca Earle, Cynthia Milton

2009 Susan Ramirez, Jurgen Buchenau, Marshall Eakin

2008 Peter Guardino, Elizabeth Kuznesof, Florencia Mallon

2007 Emilio Kourí, Pamela Voekel, John Kicza

2006 Richard Turits, Susie Porter, Peter Winn

2005 John Hart, Jonathan Brown, Maria Elena Diaz

2004 Eric Van Young, Sandra Lauderdale Graham, Ward Stavig

2003 Christine Hunefeldt, Kevin Terraciano, Juan Javier Pescador

2002 Steven Topik, Suzanne Austin Alchon, Christon Archer

2001 Ann Wightman, John M. Hart, David Bushnell

2000 Kenneth Andrien, Ida Altman, Jose Moya

1999 Mark Wasserman, Sandra McGee Deutsch, William Taylor

1998 Susan Ramirez, Donna Guy, Michael Conniff

1997 John M. Hart, Mark A. Burkholder

1996 Stuart Schwartz, Fred Nunn, Cheryl Martin

1995 Ralph Woodward, Brooke Larson, Mary Kay Vaughn

1994 Daniel James, Marjorie Becker, John Chasteen

1993 Joseph Tulchin, Luisa Hoberman, Thomas Skidmore

1992 William Beezley, Ann Twinam, Kenneth Andrian

1991 Patricia Seed, John K. Chance, Elizabeth A. Kuznesof

1990 Nícolas Sánchez-Albornoz, Cheryl Martin, Fred Nunn

1989 Charles A. Hale, Karen Spalding, William Sherman

1988 Criston Archer, Reid Andrews, Florencia Mallon

1987 Thomas Skidmore, Eric Van Young, David Rock

1986 Woodrow Borah, Fredrick J. Nunn, John Wirth

1985 Robert N. Burr, Jonathan Brown, Herman Konrad, Michael Conniff

1984 Arnold Bauer, Murdo MacLeod, Joseph Love

1983 Warren Dean, Nancy Farriss, Nicolás Sánchez-Albornoz

1982 Susan Socolow, Thomas Holloway, Charles Hale

1981 Mark Burkholder, Peter Klaren, Franklin Knight

1980 John Womack Jr., Christian Archer, Laura Randall

1979 Frank Safford, Doris Ladd, John Wirth

1978 Herbert S. Klein, Thomas F. McGann, David P. Rock

1977 Peter Bakewell, C. Alan Hutchinson, Frank McCann, Mario Rodriguez

1976 Richard Morse, Frederick Bowser, Robert Conrad, Stanley Moss, Thomas Skidmore

1975 Irving Leonard, Franklin Knight, Richard J. Walter

1974 Hugh Hamill, Dauril Alden, Antoine Tibesar

1973 Charles Hale, Joseph Love, Robert Padden

1972 C.J. Bishko, Norman Martin, Richard Graham

1971 Robert Shafer, Ralph Woodward, Asunción Lavrin

1970 Nettie Lee Benson, Robbert Padden, Neil McCauley

1969 Stanley Stein, Ursula Lamb, Tulio Halperín

1968 Charles Gibson, E. Bradford Burns, Thomas Mathews

1967 Robert Gilmore, James Cunningham, Mathias Kieman

1966 Benjamin F. Keen, Charles Cumberland, James F, King

1965 Stanley R. Ross, Robert Shafer, Charles C. Griffin

1964 Joseph R. Barager, Marvin Bernstein, Paul S. Lietz

1963 Arthur P. Whitaker, Irving A. Leonard, Charles E. Nowell

1962 William J. Griffith, David Bushnell, Philip W. Powell

1961 Manoel Cardozo, Woodrow Borah, Stanley J. Stein

1960 John Caughey, Fritz Hoffman, John Tate Lanning

1959 Lawrence Kinnard, John Bannon

1958 John Rydjord, A. P. Nasatir, Charles A. Nowell

1957 Irving A. Leonard, George P. Hammond, A. Curtis Wilgus
*Established 1956

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