The untold history of the U.S. Border Patrol will be honored with SMU’s William P. Clements Prize for Best Non-Fiction Book published in 2010 in a series of campus events Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011.
Kelly Lytle Hernández (right) earned this year’s Clements Book Prize for Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (University of California Press), which presents the Border Patrol’s story from its beginning in 1924 to its emergence as a professional police force.
The public is invited to a reception at 6 p.m., with 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 SMU’s 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.”
Hernández, associate professor of history at UCLA, is also co-director of K-12 programs in its 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.