Prof Kriner Wins D. B. Hardeman Prize

The 25th recipient of the D.B. Hardeman Prize is After the Rubicon: Congress, Presidents and the Politics of Waging War, by Douglas L. Kriner.

The D.B. Hardeman Prize is awarded for the best book on the U.S. Congress, from the fields of biography, history, journalism and political science. Mr. Hardeman, a dedicated student of and avid collector of books about the Congress, was a long-time assistant to legendary Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn of Texas. Submissions are judged on the basis of five criteria: (1) contribution to scholarship, (2) contribution to the public’s understanding of Congress, (3) literary craftsmanship, (4) originality, and (5) depth of research.

The members of the national selection committee include: Senator Tom Daschle; Lee Hamilton, Director of The Center on Congress; Thomas Mann of The Brookings Institution; Leslie Sanchez of Impacto Group; and Nancy Beck Young of The University of Houston. Previous winners include Robert Caro, David Oshinsky and Frances Lee. View a complete list of winners here:


After the Rubicon challenges the conventional wisdom of congressional irrelevance in military affairs by illuminating the diverse ways in which legislators have influenced the conduct of military affairs from the end of Reconstruction to the present day. Even in politically sensitive wartime environments, individual members of Congress frequently propose legislation, hold investigative hearings, and engage in national policy debates in the public sphere. These actions influence the president’s strategic decisions as he weighs the political costs of pursuing his preferred military course. Marshaling a wealth of quantitative and historical evidence, the book reveals the full extent to which Congress materially shapes the initiation, scope, and duration of major military actions.

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