A Rice University history professor has won the Pulitzer Prize for his critically acclaimed account of a woman who twice survived enslavement and eventually triumphed in a historic court case against one of the men responsible for her captivity.

Caleb McDaniel, associate professor and incoming chair of the Department of History, won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for History for “Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America.” The book recounts the previously little-known story of Henrietta Wood, who survived enslavement twice and, 30 years after she was first free, won the largest known financial settlement awarded by a U.S. court in restitution for slavery.

"Sweet Taste of Liberty: A Ture Story of Slavery and Restitution in America," was also awarded the 2020 Avery O. Craven Award. The Avery O. Craven Award is given annually by the Organization of American Historians to the author of the most original book on the coming of the Civil War, the Civil War years, or the Era of Reconstruction, with the exception of works of purely military history. The exception recognizes and reflects Craven's Quaker convictions. Avery O. Craven was president of the OAH 1963–1964.