(AP) -- A UC Davis professor has won his second Pulitzer Prize in less than 20 years.
The first time historian Alan Taylor found out he won the Pulitzer Prize, he found out when the telephone started ringing with congratulations and interview requests.
The surprise and slight panic Taylor felt 18 years ago repeated themselves Monday when the 58-year-old professor learned via a barrage of emails that he had a won a second Pulitzer for "The Internal Enemy."
The book is about the role slaves in Virginia and Maryland played in the War of 1812.
Taylor was in Philadelphia preparing for a lecture when he found out about the prize, which carries a $10,000 award and the ability to turn his scholarly work into a best-seller.
"It was a total surprise," said Taylor. "I had no heads up that I was a finalist, I had no expectations that this was goign to happen on this particular day. I didn't know when the Pulitzers was going to be announced, I was just busy preparing for a lecture that I was to give that night in Philadelphia.
The native of Portland, Maine, has taught at UC Davis since 1994 and will be transferring to the University of Virginia this summer.
Taylor was known to his students for his vast necktie collection, which includes historical figures and maps.
He said he tries to match his ties to the topics of his lectures.