Villanova University Historian Wins Prestigious Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy

cover of the book Implacable Foes, showing US soldiers on a Pacific island

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University History Professor Marc Gallicchio, PhD, has been named as one of three winners of the prestigious Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy for his book, Implacable Foes: War in the Pacific, 1944-1945. The book is co-authored by Waldo Heinrichs, PhD, Professor Emeritus at San Diego State University.

Implacable Foes covers a crucial period beginning in early 1944, as American forces began to shift from containment of Japanese advance to a sustained offensive. The two award-winning historians deliver a detailed account of a grueling campaign of bloody attrition against an enemy determined to fight to the last man. Gallicchio and Heinrichs, a World War II veteran, chronicle the final months of America’s war with Japan and the critical decisions of well-known politicians, military leaders and ordinary citizens.

“Working on this book with my mentor and friend, Waldo Heinrichs, has been the highlight of my scholarly career,” said Gallicchio. “I am especially grateful for the support I received from Villanova University while I was working on this project. Implacable Foes was a long time in the making but we were convinced that the time was right for a comprehensive reexamination of the final stages of the war with Japan. We are thrilled that the members of the Bancroft Committee awarded Implacable Foes one this year’s prizes and we are honored to have it added to the distinguished list of previous winners.”

Established in 1948, the Bancroft Prizes are awarded annually by the Trustees of Columbia University. Winners are judged in terms of the scope, significance, depth of research and richness of interpretation they present in the areas of American history and diplomacy. There were 247 books submitted for consideration for the 2018 prize.

“The Bancroft prize is one of the most competitive and prestigious prizes awarded to books in the fields of American History and Diplomacy,” said Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, Dean, Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “This is the latest example of the praise and national recognition received by Dr. Gallicchio and his co-author, Dr. Waldo Heinrichs, for their pioneering research on the final months of World War II.”

Columbia Provost John H. Coatsworth will present the awards at the 2018 Bancroft Prizes dinner in April.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With 39 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.