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2011 Archives

Border Patrol History Awarded Clements Book Prize

November 7, 2011

Kelly Lytle HernandezDALLAS (SMU) – Historian Kelly Lytle Hernandez is the recipient of SMU’s William P. Clements Prize for the Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America published in 2010.

Her book, Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (University of California Press, 2010), presents the untold history of the U.S. Border Patrol, from its beginning in 1924 to its emergence as a professional police force.

The public is invited to a reception at 6 p.m. Tuesday, November 8, and an award ceremony, lecture and book signing at 6:30 p.m. in SMU's DeGolyer Library.

Migra! greatly expands our knowledge of the formation, imperatives, and internal architecture of the U.S. Border Patrol, a surprisingly understudied organization,” says Andrew Graybill, director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies in Dedman College. “But Professor Hernández’s book does far more than merely fill a gap in the historical literature – rather, MIGRA! revolutionizes our understanding of the Border Patrol by exploring its evolution from an ad hoc collection of federal officers to a professional constabulary that had profound (and in many cases, unintended) effects in shaping both policy and perception along the U.S.-Mexico border.”

Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol by Kelly Lytle HernandezHernanadez, associate professor of history at UCLA, is also associate co-director of the National Center for History in the Schools. Migra!, her first book, received honorable mention from the American Studies Association’s 2011 Lora Romero First Book Prize and John Hope Franklin Book Prize.

The $2,500 Clements Book Prize honors fine writing and original research on the American Southwest. The competition is open to any nonfiction book, including biography, on any aspect of Southwestern life, past or present.

Finalists for the 2010 prize include Quest for Equality: The Failed Promise of Black-Brown Solidarity (Harvard University Press, 2010) by Neil Foley and Smeltertown: Making and Remembering a Southwest Border Community (University of North Carolina Press, 2010) by Monica Perales.

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