UMass Press book wins history award

“Captors and Captives: The 1704 French and Indian Raid on Deerfield,” written by Evan Haefeli and Kevin Sweeney and published by the University of Massachusetts Press, is the 2004 winner of winner of the New England Historical Association Book Award.

The award is given annually to an outstanding book on any historical topic written by a New England author or authors. The award will be presented on Oct. 16 in Rutland, Vt., during the NEHA fall conference.

This is the second year in a row that a book from the UMass Press has won the award. Last year the prize went to James M. O’Toole’s “Passing for White: Race, Religion, and the Healy Family, 1820–1920.”

The authors of “Captors and Captives” will also by honored by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH). They will receive an AASLH Award of Merit at a banquet in St. Louis on Sept. 30. The History Channel is underwriting the event.

“Captors and Captives” has been widely praised as a masterful work of history. Most recently, in a lengthy review in Reviews in American History, Brett Rushforth concluded, “In sum, Evan Haefeli and Kevin Sweeney have written an exceptionally well-researched, engaging, and cogent book. ‘Captors and Captives’ is sure to become the standard account of the 1704 raid, likely to withstand the scrutiny of antiquarians and professional historians alike. The authors’ meticulous research has uncovered new insights about a story that has been told and retold for three centuries. They have also expertly situated Deerfield with the historiographies of New England, New France, and Native America, suggesting new directions for each of these vibrant and complex subfields. If Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville accomplished the extraordinary by approaching Deerfield with so formidable and diverse an arsenal, Haefeli and Sweeney’s book is a fitting commemorative for the event, for they have done the same.”

Haefeli is assistant professor of history at Tufts University and Sweeney is professor of history and American studies at Amherst College.