Edwards Book Award

An annual prize recognizing books that make an outstanding contribution to the understanding and practice of democracy and American politics.

Edwards Book Award

The Edwards Award will be presented annually by the Rodel Institute to a book published in the prior year that promises to make an outstanding contribution to the understanding and practice of democracy and American politics. The prize is named in honor of Marvin Henry “Mickey” Edwards, who has inspired generations of American public servants and students as a Member of Congress, faculty member at Harvard, Princeton, and American University, author of multiple scholarly books on the American political process, and founding Executive Director of the Rodel Fellowship.

Created in 2005, the Rodel Fellowship is the nation’s premier leadership development program for elected leaders. Each year, the program selects 24 outstanding state and local-level leaders, balanced equally between the political parties, to come together for a series of seminars to read and discuss classic texts dealing with ethical values, democratic principles, and wise and effective leadership. The Rodel Fellowship helps America’s most promising leaders reach their full potential as public servants, deepen their commitment to democracy and the rule of law, and work together to address some of our nation’s most important domestic and international challenges.

The Edwards Book Award will be presented annually and will carry an honorarium of $10,000. The winner of the prize will be determined by a committee of seven persons comprised of four Rodel fellows, the President of the Rodel Institute, and two outside advisors appointed by the Rodel President. The prize will be announced in even numbered years at the campus of a major university, which will host a lecture to be delivered by the winner. In odd numbered years, the prize will be awarded at the Rodel Fellowship reunion, where the winner will be a featured speaker. Excerpts from the winning book will be read and discussed in relevant Rodel Institute seminar.

Rodel Fellowship Founding Executive
Director Mickey Edwards

2023 Longlist

Local Interests: Politics, Policy, and Interest Groups in US City Governments
University of Chicago Press
Sarah F. Anzia

The Founding of Modern States
Cambridge University Press
Richard F. Bensel

Liberalism and Its Discontents
Farrar, Straus, Giroux
Francis Fukuyama

Making Space for Justice: Social Movements, Collective Imagination, and Political Hope
Columbia University Press
Michele Moody-Adams

Mississippi Zion: The Struggle for Liberation in Attala County, 1865-1915
University Press of Mississippi
Evan Howard Ashford

O Say Can You Hear?: A Cultural Biography of "The Star-Spangled Banner"
W.W. Norton
Mark Clague

Thomas Jefferson: A Biography of Spirit and Flesh
Yale University Press
Thomas S. Kidd

New Democracy: The Creation of the Modern American State
Harvard University Press
William J. Novak

Nominate a Book

Nominations for the 2024 Rodel Edwards Book Award are now open. To submit a nomination, fill out this form.

To be eligible for consideration, nominated books must:

  1. Be nonfiction and published in 2023;
  2. Promise to make an outstanding contribution to the understanding and practice of democracy and American politics;
  3. Not be a self-published book, a vanity press book, or a hybrid self-published book;
  4. Be either an originally authored book or an edited collection;
  5. Be originally published in English or be translated to English; and
  6. Be submitted by January 31, 2024 at 11:59pm ET.

Nominations will be considered on a rolling basis. A shortlist of 5 books will be released in summer of 2024, and the winner will be announced in the fall of 2024.


Meet the Committee

John Kroger

Rodel President & Chief Executive Officer and Rodel Fellow Class of 2010

Lizzy McCourt Noonan

Director of the Rodel Fellowship and Committee Secretary

Larry Obhof

Partner, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP. and Rodel Fellow Class of 2017

Jennifer Siegel

Bruce R. Kuniholm Distinguished Professor of History and Public Policy, Duke University

Mike Signer

North America Policy Director, Airbnb; Rodel Fellow Class of 2017; and Committee Co-Chair

Miguel Solis

Chief of Staff, The Commit Partnership and Rodel Fellow Class of 2014

Ian Solomon

Dean, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, University of Virginia

Jamie Woodson

Member, University of Tennessee Board of Trustees; Rodel Fellow Class of 2009; and Committee Co-Chair

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