American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

ASHP/CML’s Ellen Noonan Wins Book Prize

Published March 4, 2013

The Strange Career of Porgy and Bess: Race, Culture, and America’s Most Famous Opera by Ellen Noonan has been selected as the winner of the 2012 George C. Rogers Jr. Book Award, which is presented annually by the South Carolina Historical Society for the best book on South Carolina history published during the preceding year.

Published by University of North Carolina Press, The Strange Career of Porgy and Bess examines the 1935 Gershwin opera’s long history of invention and reinvention as a barometer of twentieth-century American expectations about race, culture, and the struggle for equality. Weaving together the wide-ranging debates over the original DuBose Heyward novel, Porgy, and its adaptations on stage and film with a history of its intimate ties to Charleston, The Strange Career of Porgy and Bess is, in the words of Stanford University’s Harry J. Elam, Jr., “engaging and informative, … a most notable book for scholars and students interested in American cultural history.”

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