Community Invited to Attend Historian's Book Signing on Carlos Castañeda Book

Texas A&M International University's College of Arts and Humanities, in conjunction with the Webb County Heritage Foundation and the Webb County Historical Commission, invites the community to attend a Dec. 11 book signing by University of Texas at San Antonio history professor Dr. Félix D. Almaráz Jr. on his new book, Knight Without Armor: Carlos Eduardo Castañeda, 1896-1958 (Texas A&M University Press).

The event is scheduled for 3-5 p.m. at Book Mark Books, 7305 San Dario Ave.

The book, which narrates the life of one of the most substantial yet unknown historians of the 20th century, is based on numerous writings, interviews and photographs from private collections as well as extensive data from state and national archives that Dr. Almaráz compiled.

Castañeda, whose accomplishments are yet to be matched by another historian of Hispanic descent, published 18 books and nearly 50 articles in three decades. He was one of the most distinguished historians of his time, having earned prestigious accolades such as knighthood in the Vatican's Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and in Spain's Order of Isabel la Católica as praise for his contributions to the study of Catholicism and the history of the Spanish border lands in North America.

His rise to prominence was not easy, however, with limitations such as financial burdens and ethnic discrimination interfering his life.

Castañeda rose out of humble origins in South Texas and fought to improve school conditions in the barrios of San Antonio and Del Rio and later served on Franklin D. Roosevelt's Committee on Fair Employment Practice during World War II. In 1939, he realized his dream of becoming a professor and historian.

While teaching at the University of Texas, Castañeda specialized in Latin American history and focused on the history of Catholicism as the subject closest to his heart. His seven-volume study Our Catholic Heritage in Texas, 1519-1950, has been called the best work ever written on the Spanish colonial era in Texas.

Almaráz is former president of the Texas State Historical Association and the Texas Catholic Historical Society. An alumnus of Saint Mary's University and the University of New Mexico, he is the author of several books, including Tragic Cavalier: Governor Manuel Salcedo of Texas, 1808-1813, reissued by Texas A&M University Press in 1991.

For further information, please contact the College of Arts and Humanities at 326-2460. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu