Posted: 9/22/11

TAMIU’s Thompson Gets García Tejano Book Prize



Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) Regents professor and author Dr. Jerry Thompson has been selected as the 2011 Clotilde P. García Tejano Book Prize winner for his latest book, “Tejanos in Gray: Civil War Letters of Captains Joseph Rafael de la Garza and Manuel Yturri,” which traces the Tejano Civil War experience through period letters.

Released by The Texas A&M University Press in 2011, the 160-page cloth-bound book compiles 41 letters and letter fragments written by two Mexican Texans, Captains Yturri and de la Garza. Dr. Thompson said the letters reveal the intricate and intertwined relationships that characterized the lives of Texan citizens of Mexican descent in the years leading up to and including the Civil War. Dr. Jacinto Juarez, retired TAMIU history professor, assisted with translation.

The Clotilde P. García Tejano Book Prize is awarded to books about Tejano heritage that bring attention to the history and contributions of Tejanos.

It will be presented at this year’s Texas State Hispanic Genealogy and Historical Conference, hosted by Los Bexarenos Genealogical Society, Thursday, Sept. 29 – Saturday, Oct. 1 in San Antonio. Thompson will receive a cash prize of $1,000.

Considered one of the nation’s top authorities on the Civil War, Thompson is the author of over 20 books, and past president of the Texas State Historical Association. He holds a doctorate from Carnegie-Mellon University and has received numerous awards from the Texas Historical Commission, Western Writers of America, Texas State Historical Association, Historical Society of New Mexico, and Arizona Historical Society.

Thompson was the recipient of the 2010 Zaffirini Award for Leadership, Scholarship, and Service and a recipient of a 2009 The Texas A&M University System Teaching Excellence Award, a voluntary, student-selected honors program. He was just named a recipient of The Texas A&M University System’s 2010 Chancellor’s Teaching Award.

The Texas Institute for Letters (TIL) awarded him the Best Scholarly Book Published in 2006 award for his “Civil War to the Bloody End: The Life and Times of Major General Samuel P. Heintzelman.” His biography, “Cortina: Defending the Mexican Name in Texas,” is thought to be the definitive study of Juan Nepomuceno Cortina and has also won numerous awards.

“Tejanos in Gray: Civil War Letters of Captains Joseph Rafael de la Garza and Manuel Yturri” is available at the TAMIU Bookstore.  Additional information is available at tamupress.com

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