Davis Center Book Prize in Political and Social Studies


Honorable Mention

Writers and Rebels: The Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus

Honorable Mention: Rebecca Gould
Title: Writers and Rebels: The Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus (Yale University Press)

What is the meaning of the Caucasus? That is the ambitious question asked – and answered – in Rebecca Gould’s fascinating Writers & Rebels. Drawing on deep, almost ethnographic use of a startling range of sources – including previously untapped archives, as well as literature in several languages – Gould spans almost two centuries and four geographies to deliver an engrossing and sensitive study that uncovers the inner workings of colonialism and insurgency in the Caucasus. Gould plays a very impressive trick with this book, deconstructing a region often treated by pundits as a monolithic entity, but then rejecting the prevailing academic approach that treats the region as an almost accidental agglomeration of unrelated political communities, to reconstruct the Caucasus through overlapping narratives of conflict and contention. At the same time, the book amply demonstrates the analytical value of literature as a source for social scientists, a methodological innovation that should stand as an inspiration for scholars around the world. For these achievements, the committee is pleased to award Honorable Mention to Rebecca Gould.

Winner: Juliet Johnson