Rick Atkinson has won the 2010 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award
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