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2023 Peace History Society Lifetime Achievement Award: Blanche Wiesen Cook

The Peace History Society is pleased to present Blanche Wiesen Cook with the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award for her scholarship, activism, and dedication to the Peace History Society. Dr. Cook’s work has furthered our understanding of how gender and power intertwine with the search for peace. Her career spans the five decades that PHS, begun as the Conference on Peace Research in History, has applied scholarly endeavor to the illumination of the ways that groups and individuals have worked to foster peace in the world.

Blanche Wiesen Cook is Distinguished Professor of History and Women's Studies at John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. An alumna of Hunter College, she earned her M.A. and Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation on Woodrow Wilson and the Antimilitarists launched a multifaceted career in academia, journalism, and activism. Dr. Cook has taught graduate seminars and undergraduate courses, including Diplomatic History, the Cold War, Women in War and Peace, War, Peace and Imperialism, and Violence and Social Change.

Her magisterial three-volume biography of Eleanor Roosevelt covers The Early Years, The Defining Years, and The War Years and After. It is considered definitive and was described as "monumental and inspirational" by the New York Times. She is also the author of The Declassified Eisenhower: A Divided Legacy of Peace and Political Warfare and editor of Crystal Eastman on Women and Revolution.

The author of numerous articles, Blanche was an early expositor of the role of lesbianism in the history of social change, contributing journal articles such as "The Historical Denial of Lesbianism: A Review Essay" in Radical History Review and "Women Alone Stir My Imagination: Lesbianism & the Cultural Tradition," SIGNS both published in 1979. Dr. Cook also served as one of the Senior Editors, along with fellow Lifetime Honorees Sandi Cooper and Charles Chatfield, of The Garland Library of War and Peace, a 360-volume reprint series that includes ten anthologies..

For more than twenty years, Dr. Cook produced and hosted her own program for Pacifica Radio and has made numerous media appearances. Concerned about maintaining the integrity of the Freedom of Information Act, she served as Vice-President and Chair of the Fund for Open Information and Accountability. She also co-founded and co-chaired the Freedom of Information and Access Committee of the Organization of American Historians, which was actively committed to maintaining the integrity of the Freedom of Information Act. Since 1998, she has served as the NGO delegate to the United Nations for the Peace History Society.

David Hostetter, Chair of the Lifetime Achievement Award Committee, presents the award to Blanche Wiesen Cook, who attended virtually.
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