Books

Rice Professor Wins the Pulitzer Prize For History

Rice history professor Caleb McDaniel
Rice history professor Caleb McDaniel Photo by Jeff Fitlow
Caleb McDaniel, a Rice University history professor, has won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for History for his book about Henrietta Wood, a woman who was enslaved twice and eventually sued her captor and won the largest financial settlement known in restitution for slavery. 

In Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America, McDaniel, an associate professor and the incoming chair of the Department of History, traced the connections between slavery and the convict labor system the began after the Civil War. The work of black men and women was exploited through this system until the 1920s.

The Pulitzer board called it: "A masterfully researched meditation on reparations based on the remarkable story of a 19th century woman who survived kidnapping and re-enslavement to sue her captor."

“This is a tremendous and well-earned recognition for Caleb McDaniel and his spectacular and important book, ‘Sweet Taste of Liberty,’” said Rice President David Leebron. “Caleb is not only an outstanding scholar who we’re grateful to have at Rice, but also a faculty member who contributes in every possible way to the success of our students and our university.”
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
The Houston Press is a nationally award-winning, 32-year-old publication ruled by endless curiosity, a certain amount of irreverence, the desire to get to the truth and to point out the absurd as well as the glorious.
Contact: Houston Press