Saturday, December 5, 2020

Cromwell Book Prize to Erman

The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, acting on a recommendation of a committee of the American Society for Legal History, has voted to award its Book Prize to Sam Erman, University of Southern California, for Almost Citizens: Puerto Rico, the U.S. Constitution, and Empire.  The ASLH Committee’s recommendation stated in part:

For subtlety, nuance, and complexity of analysis by a junior scholar, this is the best book in a year in which many superb books were nominated. Erman makes important and ambitious claims about the evolving constitutional meaning of citizenship in the U.S. empire after the annexation of Puerto Rico in 1898. The book vividly recounts and perceptively analyzes the debates between and among Puerto Rican and U.S. judges, lawyers, administration officials, and legislators over the denial of full citizenship rights to Puerto Ricans. Erman shows how post-Civil War conceptions of full citizenship, rights, and statehood gave way to a regime of constitutionally permissible racist imperial governance.
Professor Erman’s book appeared in the Studies in Legal History, the ASLH-sponsored book series published by the Cambridge University Press.  Karen collects his posts on the book as an LHB Guest blogger here.

–Dan Ernst.  H/t: JDG3