John K. Fairbank Prize
The John K. Fairbank Prize in East Asian History is offered annually for an outstanding book in the history of China proper, Vietnam, Chinese Central Asia, Mongolia, Manchuria, Korea, or Japan, substantially after 1800. It honors the late John K. Fairbank, Francis Lee Higginson Professor of History and director of the East Asian Research Center at Harvard University, and president of the Association in 1968. Only books of high scholarly and literary merit will be considered. Anthologies, edited works, and pamphlets are ineligible for the competition. The general rules for submission are:
- Books with a copyright of 2015 will be eligible for the 2016 prize.
- Nominators must complete an online prize submission form for each book submitted.
- One copy of each entry must be sent to each committee member and clearly labeled “Fairbank Prize Entry.” Electronic copies may be sent only to committee members who have indicated they will accept them.
Please Note: Entries must be postmarked or transmitted by May 15, 2016, to be eligible for the 2016 competition. Entries will not be returned. Recipients will be announced at the January 2017 AHA annual meeting in Denver.
For questions, please contact the Prize Administrator.
Review committee contact information and the prize submission form for the next prize year will be posted by March 31.
2014 Fairbank Prize
Charles K. Armstrong, Columbia Univ.
Tyranny of the Weak: North Korea and the World, 1950–1992 (Cornell Univ. Press)
In this fresh and compelling narrative Charles Armstrong methodically probes the apparently perennial question about North Korea: why won’t it fail? Tyranny of the Weak situates the formation and endurance of the North Korean state in the global context of the Cold War and engagement with South Korea. Drawing on both well-known and new archival materials from multiple sides of the divide, it offers a rigorously argued and deeply grounded account that deals deftly with the abundance as well as absence of sources.