Current Winner of the David J. Weber Book Prize

These People Have Always Been a RepublicThe 2019 Weber-Clements Prize for the Best Non-fiction Book on Southwestern America is awarded to Maurice S. Crandall for his volume, These People Have Always Been a Republic: Indigenous Electorates in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, 1598-1912 (David J. Weber Series in the New Borderlands History, University of North Carolina Press, 2019).

The judging committee wrote:

Maurice S. Crandall’s These People Have Always Been a Republic an original and well-argued take on three hundred years of Indigenous political history in what is today Arizona, New Mexico, and Sonora. Crandall’s research is both deep and broad as it reveals how Hopis, Pueblos, Tohono O’odhams, and Yaquis in the Southwest at turns resisted, manipulated, and undermined the political systems imposed by Spanish, Mexican, and U.S. empires in order to assert sovereignty. Ambitious in its chronology, impressive in its source base, and nuanced in its analysis, These People Have Always Been a Republic provides new perspectives on Indigenous sovereignty and politics, on the dynamics of colonialism, and on the nature of democracy. It is also a beautiful piece of writing.

Maurice Crandall, assistant professor of Native American Studies at Dartmouth College, is a citizen of the Yavapai-Apache Nation of Camp Verde, Arizona. He is a historian of the Indigenous peoples of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (primarily New Mexico, Arizona, and Sonora). From 2016–2017, he was the Clements Fellow for the Study of Southwestern America at the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Prior to that, Professor Crandall worked as the Historical Projects Specialist at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a museum, archives, and cultural center owned and operated by New Mexico’s nineteen Pueblo Indian nations. 

The competition is open to any non-fiction book, including biography, on any aspect of Southwestern life, past or present, copyrighted in the previous year. The purpose of the prize is to promote fine writing and original research on the American Southwest. The author will receive $2,500 and an invitation to give the annual David J. Weber Prize Lecture at Southern Methodist University. The author need not be a citizen or resident of the United States; the book need not be published in the United States.

Maps and directions to SMU.