Author of Arming America May Be Stripped Of Bancroft Prize

1987 Winner Of Bancroft Prize Believes This Prestigious Award Will Be Taken Back From Michael A. Bellesiles Author Of Arming America

In an exclusive interview, Dr. Roger Lane, a winner of Columbia University’s prestigious Bancroft Prize who has also served on the jury that awards this Prize, says that those individuals who awarded this Prize for 2001 to Emory Professor Michael A. Bellesiles “are thinking about revoking it. And I suspect they will.”

Bellesiles won the Bancroft Prize for his book Arming America: The Origins Of A National Gun Culture published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2000.

Dr. Lane, who won the Bancroft Prize in 1987 for his book “Roots of Violence In Black Philadelphia, 1860-1900â” published by Harvard University Press, is semi-retired from his position as the Benjamin R. Collins Research Professor Of Social Sciences at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. He has a B. A. from Yale University (1955) and a Ph. D. from Harvard (1963).

Dr. Lane wrote a favorable review of Arming America which appeared in the September 2001 issue of the Journal Of American History. Now, however, he takes it all back. Dr. Lane, who identifies himself as “a card-carrying Liberal,” and who has spoken to Bellesiles by phone and in e-mail, says:

I’m mad at the guy. He suckered me. It is entirely clear to me that he’s made up a lot of these records. He’s betrayed us [Liberals]. He’s betrayed the cause.” Dr. Lane adds: “It’s 100 percent clear that the guy is a liar and a disgrace to my profession. He’s breached that trust.”

Dr. Lane says it is his understanding that those who awarded Bellesiles the Bancroft Prize for 2001 “are thinking about revoking it. And I suspect they will.”