John Hope Franklin: Weekly Standard mocks all his prizes

Historians in the News

Our attention was drawn this week to the award of the John W. Kluge Prize for the Study of Humanity to the historian John Hope Franklin. The Kluge prize, named for the Metro media mogul who endowed it, is awarded annually by the Library of Congress and is, in the words of Librarian James H. Billington, "the only global award given at the level of the Nobel Prizes that recognizes a lifetime of accomplishment in humanities and social sciences." THE SCRAPBOOK assumes there's a plaque or glass bowl or something, but the main scratch is a check for one million simoleons.

Needless to say, THE SCRAPBOOK was relieved to get these tidings because, frankly, we had been worried that there might be a prize somewhere out there that Dr. Franklin has not won.

For since publishing From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans in 1947, Dr. Franklin has been awarded (in addition to the usual hundred-plus honorary degrees, organizational presidencies, visiting lectureships, and appointments to advisory boards, delegations, and commissions) the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Jefferson Medal of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Encyclopedia Britannica Gold Medal for the Dissemination of Knowledge, the Charles Frankel Prize, the Gold Medal for History of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Cosmos Club Award, the Clarence L. Holte Literary Prize, the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, the NAACP's Spingarn Medal, the Organization of American Historians' Award for Outstanding Achievement, the Cleanth Brooks Medal of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the W.E.B. DuBois Award of the Fisk University Alumni Association, the Alpha Phi Alpha Award of Merit, and the Trumpet Award of the Turner Broadcasting Corporation.

That's a partial list, by the way, and just from the past few years.

Of course, THE SCRAPBOOK would never dream of telling the Nobel Peace Prize people in Oslo how to do their job, but we have a piece of advice: Dr. Franklin is 91 years old, and it would be pretty embarrassing to deny him an honor that has gone to the likes of Jody Williams, Jimmy Carter, and Le Duc Tho.

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Michael Green - 11/22/2006

All true, but we shouldn't expect better of a publication whose founder is so desperate to send Americans to die in a foreign war when he escaped service himself--and has the gall to criticize those who did the same. In other words, I am sure that Dr. Franklin would view this as the undoubtedly racially-motivated garbage that it is.

Bert S Hall - 11/22/2006

The Weekly Standard is simply reaching its usual level of Rush Limbaugh barbarism in its snide and adolescent defamation of one of America's most distinguished historians. They deserve nothing but our contempt.