The historian Drew Gilpin Faust has won this year’s $1 million John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity, an award administered by the Library of Congress that recognizes work in disciplines not covered by the Nobel Prizes.
Dr. Faust, 70, is the author of six books about the Civil War era, including “Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War” (1996) and “This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War” (2008). She will retire at the end of the month as president of Harvard University, where she was the first woman to lead the school.
The prize, established in 2003 and given roughly every two years, emphasizes impact beyond the scholarly community. In a statement, Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, praised Dr. Faust’s “extensive writing on Southern identity,” with its exploration of “themes of deep relevance to our national conversation on race and gender.”
The prize will be formally awarded at a ceremony at the library in September. Previous winners include the philosophers Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor; the historians Peter Brown and John Hope Franklin; and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the sociologist and former president of Brazil.