Notre Dame Press Books Take Top 2021 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards

Foreword Reviews announced the winners for the 2021 INDIES Book of the Year Awards! Over 2,500 entries were submitted across 55 genres, with Foreword’s editors choosing approximately 9 finalists per genre. Those finalist books were then mailed to individual librarians and booksellers tasked with picking the Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Honorable Mention winners. Four University of Notre Dame Press books received top honors. The awards recognize the best books published in 2021 from small, independent, and university presses. The judges declared these winners “the best of the best that we saw.”

The Rights of Women: Reclaiming a Lost Vision by Erika Bachiochi

• Silver Award for Women’s Studies •

In this critically acclaimed book, Bachiochi offers an original look at the development of feminism in the United States, advancing a vision of rights that rests upon our responsibilities to others. Inspired by the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, Bachiochi presents the intellectual history of a lost vision of women’s rights, seamlessly weaving philosophical insight, biographical portraits, and constitutional law to showcase the once predominant view that our rights properly rest upon our concrete responsibilities to God, self, family, and community.

William Still: The Underground Railroad and the Angel at Philadelphia by William C. Kashatus

• Silver Award in Biography •

This is the first major biography of the free Black abolitionist William Still, who coordinated the Eastern Line of the Underground Railroad and was a pillar of the Railroad as a whole. Kashatus provides a compelling biography of Still, weaving together the narrative of his life, stories of the escaped enslaved people who were impacted by Still’s work, and analysis of his writing and records. Library Journal calls the book “an essential work that is a must-read for those interested in the Underground Railroad and Black history in the U.S.”

Faith, Nationalism, and the Future of Liberal Democracy by David M. Elcott with C. Colt Anderson, Tobias Cremer, and Volker Haarmann

• Bronze Award in Political and Social Studies •

This important book highlights the use of religious identity to fuel the rise of illiberal, nationalist, and populist democracy. Elcott and his co-authors do more than illuminate the problems, offering solutions to protect and support liberal democracy in order to care for those most vulnerable while protecting the civil and human rights of all. “This is a startling reminder of the insidious potential of religious identity being overtaken by extremist political forces.” —Publishers Weekly

Stories from Palestine: Narratives of Resilience by Marda Dunsky

• Honorable Mention in Multicultural Studies •

Stories from Palestine, written by reporter and journalist Marda Dunsky,  profiles Palestinians engaged in creative and productive pursuits in their everyday lives in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Their narratives amplify perspectives and experiences of Palestinians exercising their own constructive agency while living under occupation. “Dunsky is unsparing in describing the human rights violations Palestinians endure, but her interview subjects want to be seen not as victims but as vibrant people with much to contribute.” —Booklist

These books are available at or wherever books are sold. We encourage you to support your local independent bookstore either in person or online.

For more information, contact: Kathryn Pitts,, 574.631.3267.

This piece first appeared at

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