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The AAG is pleased to announce the recipients of the three 2018 AAG Book Awards: the John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize, the AAG Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography, and the AAG Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography. The AAG Book Awards mark distinguished and outstanding works published by geography authors during the previous year, 2018. The awardees will be formally recognized at the Awards Luncheon during the 2019 AAG Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

The John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize

This award encourages and rewards American geographers who write books about the United States which convey the insights of professional geography in language that is both interesting and attractive to lay readers.

Bombs AwayDavid G. Havlick, Bombs Away: Militarization, Conservation, and Ecological Restoration (University of Chicago Press, 2018)

David Havlick’s Bombs Away takes us on a rich journey to some of the world’s best examples of former military lands undergoing ecological restoration. He probes the cultural and environmental consequences of this process and explores what happens to localities that were once bombed, fortified, and militarized spaces. The result is a beautifully-written and theoretically-informed narrative that exemplifies a new area of nature-society research, asks relevant questions about ecological restoration on former military lands, and illuminates an important, previously underappreciated type of cultural landscape, both in the United States and beyond.

The AAG Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography

This award is given for a book written or co-authored by a geographer that conveys most powerfully the nature and importance of geography to the non-academic world.

Unjust ConditionsTara Patricia CooksonUnjust Conditions: Women’s Work and the Hidden Cost of Cash Transfer Programs (University of California Press, 2018)

Tara Patricia Cookson’s outstanding book Unjust Conditions: Women’s Work and the Hidden Cost of Cash Transfer Programs is an elegantly written and accessible portrait of how rural women in Peru experience and cope with the often hidden and detrimental socioeconomic demands of a much-heralded development program. Through careful, self-aware ethnographic methods, Cookson (currently a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia) presents a powerful counter-argument to the fashionable yet problematic practice of “data-driven development”. Unjust Conditions should be required reading for students, scholars, the general public, and—most importantly—practitioners of development searching for innovative and socially just alternatives to conventional development thinking.

 The 2018 AAG Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography

This award is given for a book written by a geographer that makes an unusually important contribution to advancing the science and art of geography.

The SourceMartin Doyle, Duke University, The Source: How Rivers Made America and America Remade its Rivers (W.W. Norton, 2018)

Martin Doyle’s The Source is one of those rare books that advances both the science and art of geography. The Source is at once an environmental and political history of the United States. Doyle simultaneously provides an invaluable story of how rivers are intimately entangled with both the construction of the physical landscape, and an empirical study of how power has been etched onto that same landscape. Doyle adeptly picks apart some of the most intriguing connections among the various levels of governing bodies that are charged with dealing with water in the United States. The analysis shows how rivers not only contribute to the organization of a household via running water and indoor plumbing but also link to shaping cities beyond mere settlement, into the building of the nation itself. Well-researched and accessibly written, Doyle’s The Source embodies the spirit of the AAG Meridian Award.