The Martin Ridge Award ($500) honors the best book on California history that emphasizes the twentieth century onward.
Born and raised in Chicago, Martin Ridge received his bachelor’s degree from Chicago Teachers College (now Chicago State University) in 1943. After serving in World War II in the Merchant Marines, Martin Ridge completed his doctoral degree at Northwestern University in 1951, studying under Ray Allen Billington. In 1955, Ridge moved with his young family to California to teach at San Diego State University, and then from 1966 to 1977 he taught at Indiana University, where he served as editor of the Journal of American History. In 1977 Ridge returned to California, joining the Huntington Library as the Director of Research and becoming a member of the faculty at the California Institute of Technology. He was a founding member of the Western History Association in 1961 and served as its president, and also served as president of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association. Ridge published several books, including the definitive biography Ignatius Donnelly: Portrait of a Politician, and he co-authored with Ray Allen Billington the text Western Expansion. He received two book awards and three article awards from the Historical Society of Southern California. He also received several fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1965. Ridge was an active member of the Zamorano Club, the Los Angeles Corral of the Westerners, and the Historical Society of Southern California.
With the exception of the two article awards which will be given in alternating years, and the Fellows Award, the awards for HSSC have been suspended as the organization focuses on supporting the publication of the Southern California Quarterly.
Joanna L. Dyl, Seismic City: An Environmental History of San Francisco’s 1906 Earthquake (Seattle: University of Washington, 2017).
Marne L. Campbell, Making Black Los Angeles (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016).
Lori Flores, Grounds for Dreaming: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the California Farmworker Movement (Yale University Press, 2016)
Jon Wilkman, Floodpath: The Deadliest Man-Made Disaster of 20th Century America and the Making of Modern Los Angeles (Bloombury Press, 2015)
Josh Sides, LA City Limits: African American Los Angeles from the Great Depression to the Present (University of California Press, 2003)
Douglas Cazaux Sackman, Orange Empire: California and the Fruits of Eden ( University of California Press, 2006)
Harry Kelsey, Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo (Huntington Library Press, 1998)
Remi Nadeau, The Water Seekers (Doubleday, 1950)
Robert V. Hine, California’s Utopian Colonies (W. W. Norton & Company, 1953)
Spencer C. Olin, California’s Prodigal Sons: Hiram Johnson and the Progressives, 1911-1917 (University of California Press, 1968)
Leonard Pitt, Decline of the Californios (University of California Press, 1966)