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.
The 2017 Martin Ridge Award application is here. Applications deadline: postmarked by August 1, 2017.
The 2017 award will be presented at the HSSC Conference in 2018.
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 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003).