History Department
History Department

Three professors to present their books at Texas Book Festival

Thu, October 14, 2010
Three professors to present their books at Texas Book Festival
H.W. Brands, Neil Foley, Emilio Zamora

No less than three award-winning professors from the Department of History will be discussing their books: Professors H.W. Brands, Neil Foley, and Emilio Zamora.

H.W. Brands will also be receiving the prestigious Texas Writer Award given to a Texas writer for outstanding literary achievement. He is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of numerous bestselling books.
DATE: Sunday, Oct. 17; TIME: 1:30 p.m.-2:15 p.m.; LOCATION: Texas State Capitol, Senate Chamber.

He will be discussing his latest books that cover two different periods in American history. In American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900 (Doubleday, October 2010), he brings to life the three decades after the Civil War. “There was a wholesale shift in American life, and the cause was capitalism,” he said. “It was driven by J. P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and others like them, armies of men and women were harnessed to a new vision of massive industry.”

In the opening of his second book also published in 2010, American Dreams: The United States since 1945 (Penguin Press, June 2010), Brands depicts a country extremely different from today. “It is more unequal in social terms but more equal economically, more religious and rural but also more liberal and more wholeheartedly engaged with the rest of the world,” he said.

Brands traces the changes the nation has gone through and in the process “reveals the great themes and dreams that have driven America—the rising focus on individual rights and pleasures and the growing distance between our global goals and those of the rest of the world,” he says.

No doubt the research from these books will be contribute to a panel discussion that also includes James McGrath Morris, and T.J. Stiles titled, “Age of Titans.”
DATE: Saturday, Oct. 16; TIME: 12: 15 p.m.- 1:15 p.m.; LOCATION: C-SPAN/Book TV Tent.

Neil Foley’s latest book is, Quest for Equality: The Failed Promise of Black-Brown Solidarity (Harvard University Press, May 2010). It examines the “reasons why African Americans and Mexican Americans have failed to find political common ground, despite similar underpinnings to their struggles for justice,” he said. Foley’s research gives “an explanation for one of the country’s most puzzling social and political problems.”

His first book, The White Scourge: Mexicans, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Texas Cotton Culture, won the Frederick Jackson Turner Award of the Organization of American Historians and the Pacific Coast Branch Award of the American Historical Association, among others.
DATE: Sunday, Oct. 17; TIME: 12:15 p.m.-1 p.m.; LOCATION: Texas State Capitol, Capitol Extension Room E2.028.

Emilio Zamora will be joined by David Montejano and Cynthia Orozco for a panel discussion titled “¡Poder! (Spanish for 'power'): Mexican American Civil Rights Struggles in Texas.” The discussion will be on Mexican Americans' civil rights struggles particularly as they relate to Texans of Hispanic origin.  

Zamora’s award-winning book, Claiming Rights and Righting Wrongs in Texas: Mexican Workers and Job Politics during World War II (Texas A&M University Press, January 2009), “traces the unequal labor market experiences of Mexicans on the American home front during the Second World War," he said. Zamora examines Mexico's intervention on behalf of Mexican workers in an attempt to bring the U.S. State Department's Good Neighbor Policy to Texas and other parts of the United States.
DATE: Saturday, Oct. 16; TIME: 1: 30 p.m.- 2:30 p.m.; LOCATION: C-SPAN/Book TV Tent. 

First Lady Laura Bush started a commitee to establish the Texas Book Festival in 1995. As a former librarian, the First Lady took her passion for books and literacy to a broad and very public level when she spearheaded the creation of the book festival. She will also be there this year to talk about her recently published memoir, Spoken From the Heart.

Since the first book festival was held at the Capitol in 1996, the objective has remained to celebrate Texas authors' contributions to the culture of the state and nation and to benefit the state's libraries. The additional monetary support to public libraries has been more than $2.5 million. Over 600 Texas public libraries have received grants to upgrade book collections, technology equipment, and start or continue literacy programs.

The festival has continued to grow and has morphed into one of the country’s most visible and noted book festivals with more than 200 Texas authors attending each year. It regularly draws crowds of over 40,000 visitors that come to hear their favorite Texas writers read their work, sign their books and participate in panel discussions.

And certainly no event in Austin would be complete without some musical entertainment. Of course, the variety will include something for everyone from Zimbabwean-style Marimba to pop music, jazz, hip hop and others.

C-SPAN-TV will also be broadcasting from its Book TV Tent. While most events are at the Capitol, some will be held in surrounding locations. Check out the official book festival website for a complete schedule.

Related Links:
Texas Book Festival
H.W. Brands
Neil Foley

Emilio Zamora

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