- Book Prize Recipient, 2021
A professor, author, and historian of early America, the U.S. South, and Native American studies, Saunt is the prize-winning author of Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory (2020), West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776 (2014), Black, White, and Indian: Race and the Unmaking of an American Family (2005), and A New Order of Things: Property, Power, and the Transformation of the Creek Indians, 1733–1816 (1999).
Saunt received his Ph.D. in Early America from Duke University in 1996 and presently works as the Richard B. Russell Professor in American History at the University of Georgia, Athens. Saunt is also the Co-Director of the Center for Virtual History and Associate Director of the Institute of Native American Studies.
In Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory (2020), Saunt provides a multilayered account of the expulsions of Native Americans from their homes in the eastern United States to territories west of the Mississippi, under the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which was signed into law by U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Unworthy Republic received the 2021 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and the 2021 Bancroft Prize. Unworthy Republic was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Nonfiction.