TRENTON, NJ - The New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH) is pleased to announce its 2014 Book Award Winners.  

Thomas Healy has won the 2014 New Jersey Council for the Humanities Book of the Year Award for The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind - and Changed the History of Free Speech in America. The Great Dissent explores the life of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., three times wounded in the Civil War and who as a Supreme Court Justice was faced with deciding the fate of those who challenged the limits of free speech on the verge of World War I. Award committee members praised Thomas Healy’s masterful telling of one of the most erudite decisions in U.S legal history, calling it “as dramatic as the story of the classic film, Twelve Angry Men.”

Jonathan Schuppe has received the NJ350 History and Culture Book Award for A Chance to Win: Boyhood, Baseball, and the Struggle for Redemption in the Inner City. The NJ350 History and Culture Book Award is a special award on a New Jersey topic in celebration of the state’s 350th anniversary. A Chance to Win tells the story of Rodney Mason, an ex-con drug dealer from Newark who turned his life around after he was shot and paralyzed. Mason, a former high-school pitcher, founded a Little League team to give Newark boys an escape from poverty, drugs, and crime in their neighborhoods.

The New Jersey Council for the Humanities is a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Its mission is to promote projects that explore and interpret the human experience, foster cross-cultural understanding, and engage people in dialogue about matters of individual choice and public responsibility.  NJCH will recognize its Book Award Winners on Saturday, October 18, 2014 as part of the New Jersey Center for the Book’s annual literary celebration at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm. Members of the public are invited to a book signing by the authors.