Paul Kennedy honored for path-breaking work on maritime history

Paul Kennedy, the J. Richardson Dilworth Professor of History, was awarded the Hattendorf Prize for Distinguished Original Research in Maritime History by Rear Admiral Gardner Howe III, president of the U.S. Naval War College, at a ceremony on campus on Nov. 20.

The Hattendorf Prize honors distinguished academic research and writing in the field of maritime history, and is the most prestigious award that a scholar can receive in the field from the U.S. Naval War College. The international award includes a $10,000 cash prize and a bronze medal in addition to a framed award citation.

The award citation praised Kennedy’s achievements as an “assiduous historical researcher as well as the author of path-breaking studies on Britain’s naval history and the role of navies in the rise and fall of great power.”

It goes on to say, in part, “… [Y]ou have written compelling narratives that show the interrelationships of sea power and land power, technological innovation and naval warfare, economic wherewithal and naval strength, and grand strategy and high politics. This impressive body of historical scholarship has not only influenced the work of other historians but reached a much wider audience and made a signal contribution to informing policy debates about grand strategy in the public arena. By breaking down barriers to interdisciplinary study, by integrating a wide range of knowledge, by making a contribution to policy discussions, your works have themselves become prizes for us to read.”

Kennedy, who is also co-director of the International Security Studies program and distinguished fellow of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, is the author or editor of 19 books, including “The Rise of the Anglo-German Antagonism,” “The War Plans of the Great Powers,” “The Realities Behind Diplomacy,” and “Preparing for the Twenty-First Century.” His best-known work is “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers,” which provoked an intense debate on its publication in 1988 and has been translated into over 20 languages. Having recently authored “The Parliament of Man: The Past, Present and Future of the United Nations,” and a book about mid-level problem-solvers during the Second World War, titled “Engineers of Victory,” Kennedy returned to writing and research in naval affairs with a piece on "Navies in the First World War" in the three-volume, “Cambridge History of the First World War,” edited by fellow Yale faculty member Jay Winter.

He serves on the editorial board of numerous scholarly journals and writes for The New York Times, The Atlantic, and many foreign-language newspapers and magazines. His monthly column on current global issues is distributed worldwide by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media Services.

The recipient of many honorary degrees, Kennedy is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (C.B.E.) in 2000 for services to history and elected a fellow of the British Academy in June 2003.