Rick Atkinson has won the 2010 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award

HONORED: Rick Atkinson
HONORED: Rick Atkinson "has already put his mark on military history." (Michael Dunphy/pr Newswire)
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Author and Washington Post journalist Rick Atkinson has been awarded the 2010 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing.

The award, which includes a $100,000 honorarium, was announced Tuesday and is among the field's highest -- not to mention most lucrative -- honors. Atkinson, 57, is the fourth writer to be presented with the award, first given to Civil War historian James M. McPherson in 2007.

"This is a rare and well-deserved example of lifetime achievement by a young man," Gary T. Johnson, president of the Chicago History Museum and chairman of the award's screening committee, said in an e-mail. "Rick Atkinson has already put his mark on military history."

Atkinson is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. He has worked as a reporter, foreign correspondent and editor at The Washington Post since 1983. He has written several books on military history, including "The Long Gray Line" -- a history of the West Point class of 1966 -- and is completing the third book in a trilogy about the American military's role in the liberation of Europe during Word War II. (The first two books are "An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943" and "The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944.")

Throughout his work, Atkinson has tried to find a balance between literary voice and academic rigor. "I'm particularly delighted because the Pritzker is intended to encourage, nurture and highlight the literary aspirations of military history," he said.

-- Aaron Leitko


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