“Through the Eye of A Needle” Wins Top Honor in 2012 PROSE Awards

Thursday, 07 February 2013 | Andi Sporkin

Washington, DC; February 7, 2013 — Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD, by Peter Brown for Princeton University Press, was selected for the R.R. Hawkins Award, the top honor at the 2012 PROSE Awards, it was announced today.

The 37th annual PROSE Awards — the American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence — were presented at the Association of American Publishers’ Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division Annual Conference in Washington. PROSE honors the best in professional and scholarly publishing, as judged by peer publishers, librarians and academics. This year’s competition attracted 518 entries of books, reference works, journals and electronic products in more than 40 categories; these represented the fifth consecutive year of a record-breaking entries count.

The R.R. Hawkins Award, the highest PROSE honor, was presented to Princeton University Press for Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD by Peter Brown, the world’s foremost scholar of late antiquity. The highly-acclaimed book examines the transformation of the early Christian Church in the waning days of the Roman Empire, through the lens of wealth and poverty. More information

Princeton University Press holds the record for the most awards in PROSE history and last received the Hawkins Award in 2007.

The Awards for Excellence in the five disciplines, from which the Hawkins Award is chosen, were also announced at a luncheon. They are:

Award for Excellence in Humanities
Princeton University Press
Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD
By Peter Brown

Award for Excellence in Social Sciences
Princeton University Press
The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy
By Kay Lehman Schlozman, Sidney Verba, and Henry E. Brady

Award for Excellence in Physical Sciences & Mathematics
University of California Press
Atlas of Yellowstone
By W. Andrew Marcus, James E. Meacham, Ann W. Rodman, and Alethea Y. Steingisser

Award for Excellence in Biological & Life Sciences
Harvard University Press
Arthropod Brains: Evolution, Functional Elegance, and Historical Significance
By Nicholas James Strausfeld

Award for Excellence in Reference Works
Cambridge University Press
The Cambridge History of Religions in America
Edited by Stephen J. Stein

The complete list of awardees is here. Follow industry response to the announcements through @PROSEAwards and #PROSEAwards.

“The incredible number of entries we received this year is a testament to the vibrancy and variety of the scholarly publishing sector,” said John A. Jenkins, Chairman, PROSE Awards and President and Publisher Emeritus, CQ Press. “The winners and honorable mentions announced this year are high caliber works and genuinely represent the best in scholarly publishing. Hats off to our judges who spent many hours tackling this formidable challenge.”

Nearly 250 professionals in PSP publishing worldwide attended the luncheon, which also featured the debut screening of the documentary “The Curators.” The film profiles publishers Cambridge University Press, American Institute of Physics and McGraw-Hill Professional discussing the creation of new works from start to finish.

Complete information about the 2012 PROSE Awards including categories, judging process and background, can be found at PROSE Awards.

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The 115 member organizations of AAP’s Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division (PSP) publish the vast majority of print and electronic materials used by scholars and professionals worldwide in science, medicine, technology, business, law and the humanities. Their works span books, journals, computer software, databases and other digital content. Members encompass commercial publishing companies, professional and scholarly societies and university presses.