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I am excited to share some news with you: a brand-new book award! The Rodel Institute, where I serve as president and CEO, has created the Edwards Book Award, an annual prize recognizing books that make an outstanding contribution to the understanding and practice of democracy and American politics. The prize will carry an honorarium of $10,000. I hope scholars in political science, history, psychology, sociology and other fields who are doing interesting work in politics and democracy studies will nominate their books for consideration.

The award is named in honor of former congressman Mickey Edwards. Mickey has inspired generations of American public servants and students as a member of Congress; faculty member at Harvard, Princeton and American Universities; author of highly respected books on the American political process; and founding executive director of the Rodel Fellowship, the nation’s premiere bipartisan leadership development program for elected leaders.

Our goal for this award is to draw greater attention to new books that help us deepen our understanding of democracy. With threats to democracy increasing across the globe, recognizing books addressing how democracies thrive is more important than ever.

Since its founding in 2005, the Rodel Fellowship has helped nearly 400 state and local elected officials reach their full potential as public servants. Through a series of seminars, Rodel Fellows read and discuss classic texts dealing with ethical values, democratic principles and wise and effective leadership. Past fellows include five sitting governors, three U.S. senators, three members of the current cabinet and the vice president.

Books must be nonfiction and published in 2022. Selections from the winning book will be taught in Rodel seminars. The nomination deadline is Jan. 31, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. For more information, visit

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