The Utah Division of State History and Utah State Historical Society have a long tradition of awarding special citations for
scholarship and extraordinary contributions to Utah’s history or an allied field.

Best Book Awards

Juanita Brooks Best Book in Utah history
Sponsored by the Smith-Pettit Foundation

Val Holley, Frank Cannon: Saint, Senator, Scoundrel (University of Utah Press, 2020)

Val Holley's deeply researched biography of Frank J. Cannon provides not only a detailed portrait of one of Utah’s most talented and fascinating sons but of a pivotal period in Utah history. Cannon made his mark wherever he went: a clever political lobbyist, campaigner, and office holder, and a powerful editorialist and orator, he is best known for helping to bring statehood to Utah and, later, spearheading a national anti-Mormon crusade. 

Finalist for Best Book in Utah History
Sponsored by the Smith-Pettit Foundation

Carol A. Edison, Eric A. Eliason, Lynne S. McNeill, eds., This Is the Plate: Utah Food Traditions (University of Utah Press, 2020)

This wide-ranging compilation of essays detailing the state’s food heritage features the work of a diverse group of scholars, community members, journalists, photographers, and other individuals, all of them “foodies” bringing insight into food traditions and their histories. The stories and recipes from Utah’s many cultural and ethnic communities detailed in this volume make a signal contribution to our understanding of food and its central role in our state.