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										APRIL 2, 1997

Studies of the Constitution and the Decades After WWII Win Columbia University's Bancroft Prize in History

Two books - one describing the history of the United States Constitution from its beginnings, the other examining the three decades following World War II - have been named winners of the 1997 Bancroft Prize in American history, biography or diplomacy, Columbia University announced yesterday (Tuesday). David E. Kyvig, author of Explicit and Authentic Acts: Amending the U.S. Constitution, 1776-1995, and James T. Patterson, author of Grand Expectations: the United States, 1945-1974, will receive the awards tonight at a black-tie dinner on the Columbia campus. Dr. Kyvig is a professor of history at the University of Akron whose book was published by the University Press of Kansas. Dr. Patterson is Ford Foundation Professor of History at Brown University, and his book was published by Oxford University Press. Each will receive $4,000. Columbia President George Rupp will present the 50th annual prizes in ceremonies in the Rotunda of Low Memorial Library on the Morningside Heights campus. Presiding will be George Ames, chairman of the Friends of the Columbia Libraries, which sponsors the dinner. The Bancroft Prizes were established at Columbia in 1948 with a bequest from Frederic Bancroft, a historian, author and librarian of the Department of State, to recognize books of exceptional merit in American history, biography or diplomacy. They are equal in rank and are awarded annually by the University Trustees. Books eligible for the 1997 prize were published in 1996. Dr. Kyvig's book on the Constitution provides a thorough and insightful history of the amendment process, its creation, successes and failure. It treats the 1787 Constitution as an amendment of the Articles of Confederation, examines periods of great amending activity in the 1790s, 1860s, 1910s and 1960s and considers the consequences of the New Deal effort to revise constitutional understandings without amendment. The book looks not only at the 27 amendments passed by Congress and ratified by the states but also at unsuccessful amending efforts involving slavery, child labor, school prayer, equal rights for women, abortion, flag desecration and balanced budget. The author is 53, a graduate of Kalamazoo College with a Ph.D. from Northwestern University who has taught at Akron since 1971. Dr. Kyvig wrote Repealing National Prohibition (1979), co-authored Nearby History: Exploring the Past Around You (1982) and edited Reagan and the World (1990). He is currently working on a book on the everyday life in America during the 1920s and 1930s. Dr. Patterson's is an interpretive history of the explosive growth, unusual optimism and extraordinary expectations for human betterment that lifted the American spirit after World War II and continued into the 1960s. With lively sketches of individuals who led events, it describes the heightened aspirations of politicians and rights-conscious groups. It also considers the social, economic and cultural trends and foreign policy issues of the period, which became increasingly polarized following assassinations, the Vietnam War and Watergate. The author, 62, was educated at Williams College and Harvard University and has taught at Brown since 1972. Dr. Patterson is a biographer of Robert A. Taft and author of four editions of the textbook America in the 20th Century: A History (1993). He has also written America's Struggle Against Poverty, 1900-1994 (1995) and The Dread Disease: Cancer and Modern American Culture (1987). 3.25.97 19,076