Author Douglas V. Mastriano Wins Crader Book Prize

Author Douglas V. Mastriano Wins Crader Book Prize

Lexington, KY-University Press of Kentucky author Douglas V. Mastriano has been named the recipient of the 2015 Crader Family Book Prize in American Values for his book Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne. This award recognizes a first book that best exemplifies the values of the Crader Family Endowment for American Values: individual liberty, constitutional principles and civic virtue. The award is presented to a book in the area of US, European or Latin American history that explores the historical development of the political, religious, and economic heritage of Western Civilization, or events directly related to them. An honorarium of $1,000 comes with this achievement.

The purpose of this award is to increase knowledge and appreciation of the political, religious and economic heritage of this nation and the West, and the values of individual liberty, constitutional principles and civic virtue that are at the foundation of this society. The Crader Family of Jackson, Missouri, sponsors this award and has made a commitment to supports its efforts through this endowment in their family name. The Crader Family Endowment for American Values exists within the Southeast Missouri University Foundation, is managed by the chair of the department of history and is dedicated to education, research, and public engagement in the historical traditions of the United States of America and Western Civilization.

In Alvin York, Douglas V. Mastriano sorts fact from myth in the first full-length biography of York in decades. He meticulously examines York's youth in the hills of east Tennessee, his service in the Great War, and his return to a quiet civilian life dedicated to charity. As a devout Christian, conscientious objector, and reluctant hero of World War I, Alvin York is known as one of America's most famous and celebrated soldiers. York's capture of 132 German soldiers earned him the award of Congressional Medal of Honor, and continues to spark controversy among historians who think York has received more recognition than he deserves. By reviewing artifacts recovered from the battlefield using military terrain analysis, forensic study, and research in both German and American archives, Mastriano reconstructs the events of October 8 and corroborates the recorded accounts.

The Crader Family Book Prize Committee selected Mastriano's work on York, noting that he "marshals an impressive amount of primary source material" in "telling the story of one of America's iconic heroes." Mastriano responded to learning the news of the award, saying, "I am delighted to learn that my book, Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne, is the recipient of the 2015 Crader Family Book Prize in American Values. I am humbled by this decision and consider it a great honor." This marks the second award the book has garnered. It was also named the winner of the 2015 William E. Colby Award for contributions to our understanding of intelligence operations, military history, or international affairs.

Douglas V. Mastriano, Ph.D., is a Colonel in the U.S. Army.

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