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Historian Receives Award for Book Examining China's Tobacco Industry

Carol Benedict

Carol Benedict

November 14, 2011 – The American Historical Association has awarded Carol Benedict for her recent book examining China’s large but mostly forgotten industry of cheap, hand-rolled cigarettes and the illnesses they caused.

Benedict, an associate professor of history and in the School of Foreign Service, received the 2011 John K. Fairbank Prize in East Asian History for Golden-Silk Smoke: A History of Tobacco in China, 1550-2010 (University of California Press, 2011).

“With both a thematic coherence and a deftly interwoven chronological progression, [she] has produced a work that will remain the definitive study of tobacco in China,” reads the prize selection committee citation.

The American Historical Association awards the Fairbank Prize each year for the best work on the history of China proper, Vietnam, Chinese Central Asia, Mongolia, Manchuria, Korea or Japan since 1800.

Benedict used her book, which covers late 16th-century imperial China through the modern-day republic, in her new course, Global Health, Disease and History in Asia.

Georgetown history professor Jordan Sand received the same award in 2004 for his book, House and Home in Modern Japan: Architecture, Domestic Space, and Bourgeois Culture, 1880-1930 (Harvard University Asia Center, 2003).

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