Literary History Awards Part of National Historic Preservation Week Ceremony

For immediate release March 10, 2004



Sarah Oltrogge, (515) 281-4011

Des Moines, Iowa— The State Historical Society of Iowa today recognized three of the most significant books published on Iowa history in the last year at its annual Celebrating Community History Awards at the State Historical Building.

Russell L. Johnson earned the Historical Society’s Benjamin F. Shambaugh award for his book, Warriors into Workers: The Civil War and the Formation of Urban Industrial Society, published in 2003 by Fordham University Press.

Warriors into Workers is a thoroughly researched study of Dubuque during and just after the Civil War. In the book Johnson addresses such important questions as: What kind of person enlisted to serve in the Civil War and why and how do they compare to those who did not? Johnson argues that the discipline required for military service prepared soldiers to be workers in the large-scale industrial society that emerged in Dubuque and across the United States in the years after the Civil War. Johnson is a professor of history at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Certificates of Recognition were presented to John O. Anfinson for The River We Have Wrought: A History of the Upper Mississippi, published by the University of Minnesota Press; and to William B. Friedricks for In For The Long Haul: The Life of John Ruan, published by Iowa State University Press.

In The River We Have Wrought, Anfinson presents a carefully balanced history of the upper Mississippi River, from early European exploration through the completion of a navigable channel with a system of locks and dams in the mid-20th century.

Friedricks gives a rare glimpse into the private life of John Ruan in In For The Long Haul. Ruan was a Des Moines businessman whose trucking business made him one of Iowa’s wealthiest and most influential people and became the foundation for his vast holdings in insurance, banking, financial services, international trade, real estate and a hotel.

The award is named in honor of Benjamin F. Shambaugh who, for 40 years, was the superintendent of the State Historical Society of Iowa, professor of political economy at the University of Iowa, and one of the founders of the “new social science” at the turn of the century.


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