Philippa Strum’s book, Women in the Barracks: The VMI Case and Equal Rights, has been chosen for an Honorable Mention by the American Bar Association (ABA) in its annual Silver Gavel Awards. The award marks the second time Strum has received a Silver Gavel award – her 2001 book which she wrote while she was a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center, When the Nazis Came to Skokie: Freedom for the Speech We Hate, also won an Honorable Mention.

ABA President A.P. Carlton will present the Silver Gavel awards on August 10 in a special awards ceremony at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Since 1958 the American Bar Association has presented Silver Gavel Awards annually to recognize products in media and the arts that have been exemplary in fostering the American public's understanding of the law and the legal system. The Awards recognize products from newspaper and magazine articles, books, theatrical productions, television and radio programs, film and video productions, and new media.

Women in the Barracks: The VMI Case and Equal Rights, published in 2002 by the University Press of Kansas, explores the 150-year history of the Virginia Military Institute and the legal battles to open the institution to women. Unlike most works on women in military institutions, this one also provides a complete legal history – from the initial complaint to final resolution in United States v. Virginia – and shows how the Supreme Court's ruling against VMI reflected changing societal ideas about gender roles.

Strum’s book launch was held at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., where Strum is director of United States Studies. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who wrote the Supreme Court’s decision in the VMI case, introduced Strum and noted the presence in the audience of Major-General Jeanne Holm (ret.), the first woman to become a two-star general in the U.S. military.

Prior to joining the Wilson Center, Strum was the Broeklundian Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College and the Walter Gibbs Visiting Professor of Constitutional Law at Wayne State University.

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