Award Winning Titles

Indiana University Press is proud that our books have received over 60 awards (and counting!) during the 2020-2021 calendar year. Many congratulations to our well-deserving authors!

Award-Winning Books

Ruth Blau

Short-listed: Azrieli Best Book in Israel Studies

Ruth Blau

A Life of Paradox and Purpose

Motti Inbari

Ruth Blau: A Life of Paradox and Purpose explores the life of a curious, if not mysterious, character in modern Jewish history. Born a French Catholic, Ruth Blau (Ben-David) (1920–2000) lived a constantly twisting life. During World War II, Blau was active in the French Resistance, and under their command, she joined the Gestapo as a double agent. After the war, she studied philosophy as a PhD candidate at the Sorbonne during the 1950s.

After converting to Judaism and moving to Israel in 1960, Blau was involved in concealing Yossele Schumacher, a seven-year-old child, as part of a militant conflict between ultra-Orthodox and secular Jews in Israel. In 1965, despite a huge scandal, she married Amram Blau, head of the anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox Neturei Karta. After the death of her husband in 1973, Blau took upon herself to travel to Arab countries to help the Jewish communities in distress in Lebanon and Iran, where she met Yasser Arafat, head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and his deputy Abu Jihad. But the most significant connections she made were in Iran. In 1979, she met with the leader of the Iranian revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini.

Ruth Blau: A Life of Paradox and Purpose represents the first full-length biography of this remarkable woman. Drawing on a trove of archival materials and interviews with those who knew Ruth, Motti Inbari offers a complex, multifaceted portrait of a woman undertaking a remarkable and influential journey through modern European and Middle Eastern history.

Uprooting the Diaspora

Runner-up: Ernst Fraenkel Prize

Uprooting the Diaspora

Jewish Belonging and the "Ethnic Revolution" in Poland and Czechoslovakia, 1936–1946

Sarah A. Cramsey

In Uprooting the Diaspora, Sarah Cramsey explores how the Jewish citizens rooted in interwar Poland and Czechoslovakia became the ideal citizenry for a post–World War II Jewish state in the Middle East. She asks, how did new interpretations of Jewish belonging emerge and gain support amongst Jewish and non-Jewish decision makers exiled from wartime east central Europe and the powerbrokers surrounding them?  
 
Usually, the creation of the State of Israel is cast as a story that begins with Herzl and is brought to fulfillment by the Holocaust. To reframe this trajectory, Cramsey draws on a vast array of historical sources to examine what she calls a "transnational conversation" carried out by a small but influential coterie of Allied statesmen, diplomats in international organizations, and Jewish leaders who decided that the overall disentangling of populations in postwar east central Europe demanded the simultaneous intellectual and logistical embrace of a Jewish homeland in Palestine as a territorial nationalist project. 

Uprooting the Diaspora slows down the chronology between 1936 and 1946 to show how individuals once invested in multi-ethnic visions of diasporic Jewishness within east central Europe came to define Jewishness primarily in ethnic terms. This revolution in thinking about Jewish belonging combined with a sweeping change in international norms related to population transfers and accelerated, deliberate postwar work on the ground in the region to further uproot Czechoslovak and Polish Jews from their prewar homes.  

They Got Daddy

Commended: INDIES Book Award

They Got Daddy

One Family's Reckoning with Racism and Faith

Sharon Tubbs

An unforgettable journey through racism and faith across the generations.

January 15, 1959—a day that changed one family forever. White supremacists kidnapped and severely beat rural Alabama preacher Israel Page, nearly killing him because he had sued a White sheriff's deputy for injuries suffered in a car crash. After "they" "got Daddy," Israel Page's children began leaving the Jim Crow South, the event leaving an indelible mark on the family and its future. Decades later, the events of that day fueled journalist Sharon Tubbs's epic quest to learn who had "gotten" her mother's daddy and why.

They Got Daddy follows Tubbs on her moving journey from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to the back roads and rural churches of Alabama. A powerful revelation of the sustaining and redemptive power of faith and unflinching testimony to the deeply embedded effects of racism across the generations, it demonstrates how the search for the truth can offer a chance at true healing.

At the Crossroads of Music and Social Justice

Commended: Bruno Nettl Prize

At the Crossroads of Music and Social Justice

Brenda M. Romero, Susan M. Asai, David A. McDonald, Andrew G. Snyder, Katelyn E. Best, Kyra D. Gaunt, Steven Loza, Charlotte W. Heth, Paul Austerlitz, Katie J. Graber, Darci Sprengel, Ho Chak Law, Alexandria Carrico, Erin E. Bauer, Rebekah E. Moore

Music is powerful and transformational, but can it spur actual social change?

A strong collection of essays, At the Crossroads of Music and Social Justice studies the meaning of music within a community to investigate the intersections of sound and race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and differing abilities. Ethnographic work from a range of theoretical frameworks uncovers and analyzes the successes and limitations of music's efficacies in resolving conflicts, easing tensions, reconciling groups, promoting unity, and healing communities. This volume is rooted in the Crossroads Section for Difference and Representation of the Society for Ethnomusicology, whose mandate is to address issues of diversity, difference, and underrepresentation in the society and its members' professional spheres. Activist scholars who contribute to this volume illuminate possible pathways and directions to support musical diversity and representation.

At the Crossroads of Music and Social Justice is an excellent resource for readers interested in real-world examples of how folklore, ethnomusicology, and activism can, together, create a more just and inclusive world.

The Jewish Eighteenth Century, Volume 2

Runner-up: Jewish Book Award - History

The Jewish Eighteenth Century, Volume 2

A European Biography, 1750–1800

Shmuel Feiner, Jeffrey M. Green

The second volume of Shmuel Feiner's The Jewish Eighteenth Century covers the period from 1750 to 1800, a time of even greater upheavals, tensions, and challenges. The changes that began to emerge at the beginning of the eighteenth century matured in the second half.

Feiner explores how political considerations of the Jewish minority throughout Europe began to expand. From the "Jew Bill" of 1753 in Britain, to the surprising series of decrees issued by Joseph II of Austria that expanded tolerance in Austria, to the debate over emancipation in revolutionary France, the lives of the Jews of Europe became ever more intertwined with the political, social, economic, and cultural fabric of the continent.

The Jewish Eighteenth Century, Volume 2: A European Biography, 1750–1800 concludes Feiner's landmark study of the history of Jewish populations in the period. By combining an examination of the broad and profound processes that changed the familiar world from the ground up with personal experiences of those who lived through them, it allows for a unique explanation of these momentous events.