The committee charged with selecting the 2014 Grace Abbott Prize for Best Book published in 2013—E. Wayne Carp (chair), Steve Mintz, and Ishita Pande—have selected the following book:
The committee says this about the book: Daniel Winunwe Rivers’s Radical Relations demonstrates that scholarly rigor, an exhaustive research agenda, and deep historiographical engagement can be transformed into a powerful social history compelling for broad audiences. Rivers masterfully reveals the historical context for the current spotlight on the modern struggle for family and domestic rights by GLBT people. Moreover, by putting the parent-child relationship at the center of this book, Rivers tells a history, both disturbing and hopeful, that successfully challenges a long-standing assumption that same-sex orientation excludes an investment in parenting. Living under the constant threat of losing custody of their children if their own true sexuality was discovered, GLBT parents fought for parental rights through the legal system, the creation in the 1970s of a nationwide grassroots network of lesbian mothers, and the subsequent national organizations of gay fathers. In the end, Radical Relations is a model for a growing dialogue between the history of childhood, family history, the history of gender and sexuality, and GLBT history.
Rivers is an assistant professor of history at The Ohio State University. He will receive a plaque and $500.