$50K book prize goes to Revolutionary War writer

In this Friday, May 9, 2014 photo, visitors sit on the grass in front of the Washington Monument after the fencing which closed it off to the public during renovations was removed, in Washington. The monument, which sustained damage from an earthquake in August 2011, will re-open to the public on Monday, May 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

MOUNT VERNON, Va. (AP) — The author of a revisionist account of the British leaders who lost the North American colonies in the Revolutionary War has won one of the nation’s largest literary awards.

University of Virginia history professor Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy, author of “The Men who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire,” won the $50,000 George Washington Book Prize Tuesday night at a reception at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate.

The prize goes to the year’s best book on early American history. It is sponsored by Mount Vernon, Washington College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

O’Shaughnessy’s book offers a more sympathetic view of the leaders who fought to keep control of the colonies, including King George III, Primer Minister Lord North and Gen. Lord Cornwallis.

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