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John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize

Deadline: December 31, yearly

The Jackson Prize was established to encourage and reward American geographers who write books about the United States which convey the insights of professional geography in language that is interesting and attractive to a lay audience. The prize, which carries an award of $500 to the author, is administered by the Association of American Geographers. In any given cycle, the J.B. Jackson Prize Committee may also select a second title from the  pool of nominations to be recognized with an Honorable Mention.

Eligibility: J.B. Jackson and his friends established the prize to recognize American geographers who write serious but popular books about the human geography of the contemporary United States. The prize is restricted to sole- and dual-authored books written by geographers, with preference given to those by U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Textbooks, dissertations, edited collections, and articles are ineligible. Special consideration will be given to books that are carefully designed, appropriately illustrated, and physically appealing. The Selection Committee reserves the right to make no award in a particular year. Awards are announced in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers. Books published for the first time in English, in any country, in calendar year 2021 or in the period Oct. 1 - Dec. 31, 2020, are now eligible for the awards. Please submit your book for consideration for only one of the AAG's three book awards (i.e., J.B. Jackson Prize, Globe Book Award, or Meridian Book Award).

Submissions: Publishers are invited to submit entries for the Jackson Prize competition (authors may not submit their book directly and should consult their publishers, with whom the decision to submit rests). Publishers should forward one copy of the published book before December 31, to each of the four committee members:

  • Bill Wyckoff, (Committee Chair) Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, POBox 173480, Bozeman, MT, 59717-3480;
  • Lisa Benton-Short, 1019 4th Street, SE Washington, DC 20003; 
  • Stephen Hornsby, Director, Canadian-American Center, University of Maine, 154 College Avenue, Orono, ME 04473; and
  • Maria Lane, Department of Geography & Environmental Studies, MSC01-1110, Bandelier West 224, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131.

Inquiries: For more information about the Jackson Prize, contact William Wyckoff at

About the Jackson Prize: John Brinckerhoff Jackson founded the magazine Landscape in 1951 and remained its owner and editor until 1968. After he retired as Editor he spent more than a decade writing about landscape and teaching celebrated courses in the history of vernacular landscapes at Berkeley and Harvard. The Jackson Prize of the AAG is dedicated to encouraging the kind of thinking and writing to which J. B. Jackson devoted much of his life: to encourage Americans to look thoughtfully at the human geography of their own country; to try to understand how that geography came to be and what it signifies; and to convey that understanding to the public at large.

Previous Jackson Prize Recipients


Adam Mandelman for The Place With No Edge: An Intimate History of People, Technology, and the Mississippi River Delta, Louisiana State University Press



Robert Lemon for The Taco Truck: How Mexican Street Food Is Transforming the American City, University of Illinois Press



David Havlick for Bombs Away: Militarization, Conservation, and Ecological Restoration, University of Chicago Press



Stephen Hornsby for Picturing America: The Golden Age of Pictorial Maps, University of Chicago Press



Terence Young for Heading Out: A HIstory of American Camping, Cornell University Press



Lisa Benton-Short for The National Mall: No Ordinary Public Space, University of Toronto Press



Andrew Sluyter, Case Watkins, James P. Chaney and Annie M. Gibson for Hispanic and Latino New Orleans: Immigration and Identity since the Eighteenth Century, Louisiana State University Press

Anne Kelly Knowles, Mastering Iron


Randall K. Wilson for America's Public Lands: From Yellowstone to Smokey Bear and Beyond, Rowman & Littlefield

Anne Kelly Knowles, Mastering Iron


Anne Kelly Knowles, Mastering Iron: The Struggle to Modernize an American Industry, 1800-1868, University of Chicago Press

Anne Kelly Knowles, Mastering Iron


James "Pete" Shortridge for Kansas City and How it Grew, 1822-2011, University Press of Kansas

Kansas City and How it Grew, 1822-2011


Jan Nijman for Miami: Mistress of the Americas, University of Pennsylvania Press.


Paul F. Starrs and Peter Goin for Field Guide to California Agriculture, University of California Press.


Patrick McGreevy for Stairway to Empire: Lockport, the Erie Canal, and the Shaping of America, State University Press of New York (Albany).


Blake Gumprecht for The American College Town. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.


Eric D. Olmanson for The Future City on the Inland Sea: A History of Imaginative Geographies, Ohio University Press.


Arthur J. Krim for Route 66: Iconography of an American Highway, George Thompson Publishers.


Craig Colten for An Unnatural Metropolis: Wresting New Orleans from Nature, Louisiana State University Press.


Donald W. Meinig for Global America, 1915-2000. volume four of The Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on 500 Years of History, Yale University Press.


Peirce F. Lewis for New Orleans: The Making of an Urban Landscape, Center for American Places in association with University of Virginia Press.


Daniel D. Arreola for Tejano South Texas: A Mexican American Cultural Province, University of Texas Press.


John A. Jakle for City Lights: Illuminating the American Night, Johns Hopkins University Press.


David B. Lowenthal for George Perkins Marsh: Prophet of Conservation, University of Washington Press.


Blake Gumprecht for The Los Angeles River: Its Life, Death, and Possible Rebirth, Johns Hopkins University Press.


Charles S. Aiken for The Cotton Plantation South Since the Civil War, Johns Hopkins University Press.


Kenneth E. Foote for Shadowed Ground: America's Landscapes of Violence and Tragedy, University of Texas Press.


Richard Francaviglia for Main Street Revisited: Time, Space, and Image-Building in Small Town America, University of Iowa Press.


David J. Wishart for An Unspeakable Sadness: The Dispossession of the Nebraska Indians, University of Nebraska Press.


Paul Groth for Living Downtown: The History of Residential Hotels in The United States, University of California Press.


John B. Wright for Rocky Mountain Divide: Selling and Saving the West, University of Texas Press.


Wilbur Zelinsky for Cultural Geography of the United States (Revised & Enlarged Edition), Prentice-Hall Publishers.


John Fraser Hart for The Land That Feeds Us, W.W. Norton Publishers.



David Buisseret for Historic Illinois from the Air, University of Chicago Press



James R. Shortridge for The Middle West: Its Meaning in American Culture, Unviersity Press of Kansas



James Paul Allen & Eugene James Turner for We the People: An Atlas of America's Ethnic Diversity, Macmillan Press and Gary B. Peterson & Lowell C. Bennion for Sampete Scenes: A Guide to Utah's Heart, Basin/Plateau Press. 



John R. Borchert for America's Northern Heartland, University of Minnesota Press.



John A. Alwin for Between the Mountains: A Portrait of Eastern Washington, Northwest Panorama Publishing. 



John C. Hudson, Plains Country Towns, University of Minnesota Press. 



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