Author Douglas V. Mastriano to Receive 2015 William E. Colby Award

Lexington, KY-University Press of Kentucky author Douglas V. Mastriano has been named the recipient of the 2015 William E. Colby Award for his book Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne. Named for the late ambassador and former CIA director William E. Colby, the Colby Award recognizes a first work of fiction or non-fiction that has made a significant contribution to the public's understanding of intelligence operations, military history, or international affairs. The award includes a $5,000 author honorarium provided through a grant from the Tawani Foundation and will be presented at the William E. Colby Military Writers' Symposium held atNorwich University in Northfield, Vermont on April 9.

Alvin C. York (1887-1964) is credited with the capture of 132 German soldiers on October 8, 1918, in the Meuse-Argonne region of France-a deed for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He is remembered by generations through Gary Cooper's Academy Award-winning portrayal in the 1941 film Sergeant York. Mastriano, however, 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. 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 in the most detailed biography of York to date.

"I am humbled by the distinction of being the 2015 William E Colby Award recipient. The Colby Award represents the highest caliber of works published in the United States since 1999. It is a privilege to have my book recognized worthy of this honor," said Mastriano. In addition to winning the Colby Award, Alvin York has also been named a finalist for the Army Historical Foundation's Distinguished Book Award in the category of biography. Alvin York is also the second University Press of Kentucky title to win the Colby Award, joining Kontum: The Battle of South Vietnam by Thomas P. McKenna, which won in 2013.

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

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