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Posted on Jun 21, 2011 in Carlo D'Este, Stuff We Like

Carlo D’Este to Receive 2011 Pritzker Military Library Lifetime Achievement Award

By Armchair General

EDITOR’S NOTE: All of us at Armchair General magazine heartily congratulate ACG Consulting Historian and Advisory Board member, Carlo D’Este, on his extremely well-deserved selection to receive the prestigious 2011 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement. D’Este’s extensive body of work – which includes the acclaimed biographies, Patton: A Genius for War, Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life and Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945 – make him the perfect choice to receive this year’s Pritzker Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, D’Este’s writing is familiar to regular Armchair General magazine readers through his frequent, outstanding articles published in ACG, while visitors to this website enjoy his fascinating monthly web articles that cover a wide range of military history subjects.


Congratulations, Carlo! Well done!

Chicago, IL (June 21, 2011) – Carlo D’Este has been selected to receive the 2011 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. The $100,000 honorarium, citation and medallion, sponsored by the Chicago-based Tawani Foundation, will be presented at the Library’s annual Liberty Gala on October 22, 2011. The announcement was made today via live Internet webcast at

The Pritzker Military Library Literature Award recognizes a living author for a body of work that has profoundly enriched the public understanding of American military history. A national panel of writers and historians – including previous recipients James M. McPherson, Allan R. Millett, Gerhard L. Weinberg, and Rick Atkinson –reviewed nominations and definitive works submitted by publishers, agents, booksellers, and other professional literary organizations.

“Carlo D’Este has made a tremendous collective contribution to the literary community at large,” said Colonel (IL) J.N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired), Founder of the Pritzker Military Library and Tawani Foundation. “He has spent as much time in the field, with his boots on the ground, as he has seeing to it that scholars of the next generation are carefully mentored while progressing along their own paths. It’s clear that Carlo’s literary legacy is deeply rooted in all the areas that embody the foundation of this esteemed award, most especially that of increasing the understanding of military history and the role of the Citizen Soldier.”

“Carlo D’Este has published a series of major works on World War II. In each case, careful research and balanced judgment led to a book of permanent value,” said Gerhard Weinberg and Nathaniel Fick, members of the award committee. “His work is definitive in the field, rich, and thorough.”

D’Este’s first book, Decision in Normandy (1983), offered a fresh perspective on the leadership of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and the Allied landings after D-Day. With Bitter Victory (1988) and Fatal Decision (1991), covering the battles for Sicily and Rome respectively, D’Este further established himself as an authoritative voice in the field of World War II scholarship. More recently, D’Este has turned his attention to the lives of major World War II leaders, delivering the acclaimed biographies Patton: A Genius for War (1995); Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life, 1890-1945 (2002); and Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945 (2008).

Since the publication of Warlord, D’Este has delivered a series of lectures on Winston Churchill at the Pritzker Military Library, the Lemnitzer Lecture at the Association of the U.S. Army, the General Raymond E. Mason, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series on World War II at the National World War II Museum, New Orleans, and the 2010 Crosby Kemper Lectureship at the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri. He also serves as Consulting Historian and Advisory Board Member for Armchair General magazine.

“This is a terrific honor and the highlight of my career,” said D’Este. “I am humbled to be selected by the Pritzker Military Library and to be in the company of the great historians who have previously won this prestigious award.”

A retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel with service in Vietnam, D’Este has received the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, and Commendation Medal for his military service. He is a co-founder of the William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium, based at Norwich University, and currently serves as its executive director. D’Este is also a long-time elected trustee of the Mashpee, Massachusetts Public Library and the former president of the Friends of the Kreitzberg Library at Norwich University. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Shirley.

The Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing was established in 2007. The recipient’s contributions may be academic, non-fiction, fiction, or a combination of any of the three, and his or her work should embody the values of the Pritzker Military Library.

The award will be presented on October 22, 2011 during the Library’s annual Liberty Gala at Chicago’s historic Palmer House. The evening will also include presentation of the Colby Award to decorated Marine Corps veteran Karl Marlantes for his first book, Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War. For more information on the Liberty Gala or to purchase tickets, visit:

The Pritzker Military Library is a non-partisan, non-profit research institution located at 104 S. Michigan Ave., in Chicago’s historic Monroe Building. Admission is open to the public. Since opening in October 2003, the Pritzker Military Library has produced over 300 programs including events with award-winning authors, interviews with Medal of Honor recipients, and Emmy-nominated panel discussions on military issues. All programs are presented in front of a live audience, webcast live on the Internet, and recorded for later broadcast on WYCC-TV/Channel 20, a PBS affiliate. Programs are also available for download as audio podcasts.

Winner of the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the Pritzker Military Library features a collection of books and films on subjects covering the full spectrum of American military history, along with military-themed posters, photographs, medals, uniforms, and other artifacts from private donors and the collection of the Library’s founder, Colonel (IL) J.N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired).

Founded by COL (IL) J. N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired), Tawani Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) grant-making organization whose mission is: to enhance the awareness and understanding of the importance of the Citizen Soldier; to preserve unique sites of significance to American and military history; to foster health and wellness projects for improved quality of life; and to honor the service of military personnel, past, present and future, through an awards program that includes the JROTC/ROTC Award for Military Excellence, the William E. Colby Award and the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing.

To learn more about the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award or to submit a 2012 nomination, visit or write: Lisa M. Lanz, Executive Director, Tawani Foundation, 104 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 525, Chicago, IL 60603.

1 Comment

  1. As a long-time fan of LCol D’Este and his works (Decision in Normandy is still I believe the best word on the Normandy campaign), I most heartily congratulate him on this award. As they say in the Royal Canadian Navy, BZ!

    Colonel (Ret’d) R. G. St. John
    Canadian Armed Forces