Claudio Saunt, PhD '96, Wins Bancroft Prize

Head shot of Claudio Saunt

Claudio Saunt has been awarded the 2021 Bancroft Prize for his book Unworthy Republic.  Saunt is currently Professor of American History at the University of Georgia.

"Saunt’s Unworthy Republic is a brilliant, searing account of 'Indian removal' in the 1830s United States: the state-sponsored expulsion of an estimated 80,000 native peoples from their homes east of the Mississippi River and brutal deportation to an ill-defined 'Indian Territory' in the West. Far from being 'natural' or 'inevitable,' as contemporaries (and even some historians) have portrayed, Saunt documents the vast amount of ideological, political, and logistical work that undergirded this federal policy. Combining brilliant synthesis, deep archival research, and powerful prose, Unworthy Republic retells the story of this epic moment as a tragic conjecture of the histories of indigenous people, antebellum slavery, and global capitalism. Saunt has written a bold, haunting account of 'Indian removal' that, in its polished scholarship, beautiful prose, and original argument, is a worthy recipient of the Bancroft Prize.”