William H. Chafe

The 1981 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award was presented to William H. Chafe for Civilities and Civil Rights. The book reveals how whites in Greensboro, North Carolina, used the traditional Southern concept of “civility” as a means of keeping black protest in check and how, as a result, black activists continually devised new ways of asserting their quest for freedom.

William H. Chafe is an American historian and is currently the Alice Mary Baldwin professor of History at Duke University. He is the author of numerous books including Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal; The Rise and Fall of the American Century: The United States from 1890 to 2008; The Unfinished Journey: American Since World War II; Private Lives/Public Consequences: Personality and Politics in Modern America; and The Paradox of Change: American Women in the 20th Century.