University of Michigan Scholar Wins the Pulitzer Prize in History

Heather Ann Thompson, professor of history at the University of Michigan, has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize in history. She won the award in the category of Letters, Drama & Music for her book Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy (Pantheon, 2016). The Pulitzer Prize committee stated that the books “sets high standards for scholarly judgment and tenacity of inquiry in seeking the truth about the 1971 Attica Prison riots.” Professor Thompson spent 13 years writing and researching the book about the incident which left 39 people dead and more than 100 others injured.

Dr. Thompson is a professor in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and a professor of Afro-American and African studies. She is also affiliated with the Populations Studies Center in the Institute for Social Research. Before joining the faculty at the University of Michigan in 2015, she taught for six years at Temple University in Philadelphia. Earlier, she served on the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Professor Thompson also authored the book Whose Detroit? Politics, Labor, and Race in a Modern American City (Cornell University Press, 2001) and is the editor of the book Speaking Out: Activism and Protest in the 1960s and 1970s (Pearson, 2009). She is president-elect of the Urban History Association.

Dr. Thompson holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Michigan. She earned a Ph.D. at Princeton University.


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