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And the Kluge Prize Goes To . . .

Historians John Hope Franklin and Yu Ying-shih were recently named the recipients of the third John W. Kluge Prize for lifetime achievement in the study of humanity. The honor, which carries a $1 million prize, recognizes lifetime achievement in such areas as history, philosophy, politics, religion and linguistics – all of which are areas not covered by the Nobel prizes.

Front side of the John W. Kluge Prize Medal Yu Ying-shih, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and John Hope Franklin

Both Franklin and Yu have been pioneers in bringing to light aspects of American and Chinese history that have been overlooked in the past. An emeritus professor of history at Duke University, Franklin has been a trailblazer in the study of African-American history. His first book, "The Free Negro in North Carolina," remains the standard work and key reference point for those researching free African-Americans in the years before the Civil War. His most recent book, his autobiography "Mirror to America," was the subject of a webcast at the Library of Congress. Franklin also gave a talk on his book and his life's work at the 2006 National Book Festival.

Yu, an emeritus professor of East Asian studies and history at Princeton University, has covered some 2,000 years of Chinese history in more than 30 books. His books range in focus, including early and medieval Chinese history, the intellectual and cultural history of the later imperial period, and studies of intellectuals and intellectual problems in the modern period. His research on the Confucian heritage has rescued the subject from a legacy of triviality and neglect.

For more information on the award winners and the Kluge prize, visit the John W. Kluge Center to read transcripts of prepared remarks from both Franklin [PDF: 196kb] and Yu [PDF: 228kb] along with the details of the prize and the awards process.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources and to interact with policy-makers in Washington.

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A. Front side of the John W. Kluge Prize Medal. Reproduction Information: Not available for reproduction.

B. Yu Ying-shih, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and John Hope Franklin. Photographer John Harrington. 2006. Reproduction Information: Not available for reproduction.