Marjoleine Kars is recognized in the 2018 McGill Cundill History Prize for her book On Setbacks and Apprenticeships, about the remarkable rise of Obamacare in Washington, D.C. in the 20th century. She is a professor of history at the University of Maryland, College Park, and former founding director of the Douglas W. MacLean Center for American History.
Kars is president of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and its Board of Directors and a member of the board of three organizations: the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has received numerous honours including a MacArthur Fellowship and the National Medal of Science.
Kars has authored or co-authored numerous books. She is currently working on two more: the Pulitzer-winning The Structure of American Politics: An Anthology of the Century and Richard W. Wilbur’s Too Cheap to Study: The Politics of Evaluating Lives (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, June 2018). Kars was awarded the 2014 MacArthur Fellowship, and later received the award twice more, for Too Cheap to Study, and in 2015, for The Architect and the Masters: Buildings in American History.
Kars holds appointments in the School of Critical and Historical Studies and in the Manship School of Mass Communication. She has a BA (Advanced in American History) from Harvard University, an M.A. from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in American History from Duke University.
This was a collaborative selection, and an affirmation of Kars’ genre-defying ability to excel in history, in film, as an author, and in others.