Gross will receive Ruth Ratner Miller Award for Excellence in American History 

September 16, 2023

Join the Friends of the Library for the presentation of the prestigious Ruth Ratner Miller Award for Excellence in American History on Saturday, October 21, at 7 p.m. in the Goodwin Forum of the Concord Free Public Library. 

This year’s winner is Concord’s own Robert Gross, PhD. He is a prolific author of carefully researched books on American history, starting with the publication of The Minutemen and Their World (1976), which won the Bancroft Prize in American history. It was re-issued in a 25th anniversary edition in 2001 and published by Picador in a revised edition in 2022 to commemorate the upcoming 250th anniversary of the American Revolution.  

His latest book, The Transcendentalists and Their World (2021), was chosen by the Wall Street Journal as one of the 10 best books of 2021. His other works include Thoreau and the Laborers of Concord, published in 2013. 

A native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, Gross received a B.A. in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania in 1966 and an M.A. (1968) and Ph.D. (1976) in History from Columbia University.  

Gross specializes in the social and cultural history of the U.S., from the colonial era through the nineteenth century. Other works include In Debt to Shays: The Bicentennial of an Agrarian Rebellion (1993). His other recent work examines New England writers — notably, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Emily Dickinson — in historical context.  

The lecture is an in-person event. Tickets can be purchased (cash or check only) at the Barrow Book Store and the Concord Book Shop at  $15 for adults, and $5 for students. Digital tickets are $16 ($6 for students) through Zeffy at This year, advance tickets will not be sold at the library.  

Following the lecture and award presentation by the Friends, there will be a book signing and reception in the Library’s Reference Room. 

The Ruth Ratner Miller Memorial Award for Excellence in American History was established in 1998 and is sponsored by her four children to honor the life of their mother, who believed passionately that understanding history was not merely desirable but a civic and religious duty. 

The Friends of the Concord Free Public Library, Inc. is an all-volunteer community-supported non-profit organization which has been supplementing the materials and programs offered by the Concord Free Public Library for over 50 years.