A&M International Celebrates Book for Canseco-Keck History Series

Texas A&M International University invites all those interested in the history of South Texas politics to a reception celebrating the publication of a book on former Zapata County Judge Manuel B. Bravo.

The book, Border Boss: Manuel Bravo and Zapata County, written by J. Gilberto Quezada of San Antonio, is the first to be published by the Texas A&M University Press for the Canseco-Keck History Series. In the book, Quezada analyzes the political role of one of the most influential political "bosses" of South Texas.

The reception, organized by Texas A&M International University, in conjunction with the College of Arts and Humanities and Texas A&M University Press, will take place Tuesday, April 27, from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. at the Great Room of the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library. Special guests include John and Ceci Canseco Keck, a Laredo couple and sponsors of the series. The event is free of charge.

Dr. Jerry Thompson, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and editor of the series, said that the Canseco-Keck History Series, through the Texas A&M University Press, will publish a book once a year that touches on history topics such as the Texas-Mexican border, Texas and the Civil War. The series was established because of the Canseco-Keck couple's love for Texas border history, he added.

The couple has also established a grant that allows for research on the above topics, Thompson said.

Quezada's book was chosen for publication because of the quality of research he utilized in preparing it, Thompson said.

"It's a superb book as far as research and objectivity and one of the finest books yet to be published on South Texas politics," Thompson said.

Bravo became Zapata County judge in 1937. In the book, Quezada delineates Bravo's career in the Democratic Party and analyzes the role in the important issues of his day and looks at contributing factors to "bossism."

Among guests also to be expected at the reception will be Bravo's children, James Edward, of Zapata; Joseph, of Monahans, Texas; Aurora Bravo Cabello, of Laredo; and Manuel B. Bravo Jr., of Laredo. In addition, Bravo's sister, Virginia López, of Mission Texas, along with his grandchildren, Manuel III (with his son, Manuel IV) and Diana, will be present.

Manuel Bravo Jr. praised Quezada for the research he conducted before writing the book.

"I think he did a very good job. It took him a lot of time to get this done. He did a lot of research, interviews, he did an awfully good job. All of my family members are elated," Bravo said, "Really, the book brings back a lot of memories for me."

Quezada is the associate superintendent for special programs, finance and pupil services for the South San Antonio Independent School District. He is an active member of the Texas State Historical Association and several other historical societies. He received his master's degree in history from St. Mary's University.

For further information, please contact dean Thompson at (956) 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