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Professor's Newest Book
Wins Prestigious Award

First came Dan Rather's great review in The Wall Street Journal. Now comes a prestigious award from the Texas Historical Foundation.

Praises are pouring in from all directions for Sam Houston State University History Chair James Olson's newest book, "A Line in the Sand: The Alamo in Blood and Memory."

Co-authored by Randy Roberts, former SHSU professor, the book has been selected to receive the Texas Historical Foundation's Deolece Parmelee Award for outstanding achievement in historical preservation through historic research. According to the foundation, the book "represents the very best in historical research."

Click here to view a previous article explaining Olson's book

Though many books are nominated for this award, the Texas Historical Foundation bestows only one book with this honor.

The award will be presented in Austin at a dinner hosted by the foundation at the Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farm on Thursday, April 19. Olson is the guest speaker.

Oddly enough, Olson was asked to be the guest speaker at this event prior to receiving the award. His topic of the evening will be "Who Owns Memory?"

"History," explained Olson,"is contested ground today. People often use it to support their own current political points of view." The "battlefield" regarding historical accuracy is what Olson will expand upon.

"A Line in the Sand," released in late January, uses a conservative approach to celebrate the heroism of the Alamo defenders in one of America's most legendary battles. By showing the defenders' strengths, Olson and Roberts are able to discount the liberal approach that portrays the Alamo soldiers in a less than admirable light.

"I was very pleased [to receive the award] because the book has the potential for being controversial," said Olson. The book got good reviews in magazines, newspapers, and journals that are considered liberal and conservative, so we felt good about having survived the reviewing process. Getting the award now is icing on the cake!"

Olson said he has received lots of positive comments from students, university officials, and people of the Huntsville community. Because of the overwhelming interest in his book, Olson has agreed to host a book signing at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 11 in the Walker Education Center. This will be his second community signing. All are welcome.

Olson's next book, "Wounded Women," is a history of breast cancer. This book has just reached completion and is awaiting publisher acceptance.

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SHSU Media Contact: Audrey Wick
April 4, 2001
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