Retired Army major general who writes about unheralded women wins historian of the year award
Stars and Stripes August 10, 2023
A retired Army major general with at least seven books to her name is receiving an honorific as a historian, based on her post-military work aimed at increasing awareness about notable women.
Mari K. Eder was announced Wednesday as the winner of the historian of the year award presented annually by Historic Hotels of America, an affiliate of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Eder will receive the award at a ceremony in October.
The honor recognizes people whose work “has encouraged a wide, if not provocative, discussion and greater understanding of the history and the diverse heritages and cultures of our nation and the world,” the organization said in a statement Wednesday.
Eder wrote “The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line: Untold Stories of the Women Who Changed the Course of World War II,” a compilation published in 2021 that shines light on over a dozen little-known women, in and out of uniform.
Blurbs for the book were given by actor Gary Sinise and retired Adm. James Stavridis, former NATO supreme allied commander in Europe. He called it “a fascinating page-turner.”
Eder’s latest book, “The Girls Who Fought Crime: The Untold True Story of the Country’s First Female Investigator and Her Crime Fighting Squad,” was published this month.
In her nearly four decades as an active-duty soldier or reservist, Eder served as deputy chief of the Army Reserve and deputy chief of Army public affairs.
She co-authored a book titled “Public Relations in the Military: The Scope, Dynamic and Future of Military Communication.”
In 2009, she was appointed commanding general of the U.S. Army Reserve Joint and Special Troops Support Command.
After retiring in 2013, Eder went on to serve as director of public affairs at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany.
She also was an adjunct professor and lecturer in communications and public diplomacy at the NATO School and Sweden’s International Training Command.
In addition to her historical writing, Eder maintains a website and blog called Benson’s ReView.
In the award announcement statement, she said it is inspiring to witness the Historic Hotels of America’s commitment to preserving and promoting the past.
“Understanding history gives meaning to our lives,” she said.
The award will be presented at The Wigwam in Litchfield Park, Ariz., on Oct. 12.