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11 September 2006

Professor Jackson Wins Prestigious
State History Book Award

Harvey H. Jackson III, an Alabama native and professor and chair of the history and foreign languages department at Jacksonville State University, is this year’s winner of the Alabama Historical Association’s Clinton Jackson Coley Book Award.


The award is presented in alternate years and recognizes excellence in a new study that focuses on local historical concerns.


Jackson, the author of numerous works on Alabama history, was honored for his most recent book, Inside Alabama: A Personal History of My State. The book was published by the University of Alabama Press in early 2004 and has already become a standard text used in Alabama history classes throughout the state. The award ceremony took place this past spring at the Alabama Historical Association’s annual meeting, held this year in Fairhope, Alabama. Presenting the award was Paul Pruitt, law librarian at the University of Alabama, who served as chair of this year’s Coley Award committee.


Reviewing the book in the Birmingham News, Jim Noles wrote, “If you want your Alabama history delivered to you as if you were chatting with a favorite professor over a slab of ribs at Dreamland or between cold beers at the Flora-Bama, then you’ll certainly enjoy Harvy H. Jackson III’s political history of his home state.”


In his review broadcast on Alabama Public Radio, Don Noble said, “This book is the kind of history that everyone should read and everyone can read with profit and more to the point, maybe, enjoyment.”


“This is not your usual schoolbook on Alabama history,” proclaimed David Robertson, writing in the Anniston Star. “Thank heavens, Harvey Jackson has written an entirely different sort of history, and it is much closer to the people and events that make the real Alabama.”


Similar praise appeared in newspapers throughout the state and in a number of academic history journals. Rare is the book that speaks so well to both audiences.


This marked the second consecutive time a book published by The University of Alabama Press received the Coley Award; Alan Grady’s When Good Men Do Nothing: The Assassination of Albert Patterson won in 2004, the last time it was given.


In odd-numbered years, the Alabama Historical Association gives the James F. Sulzby Award to honor a book that has made the most significant contribution to Alabama history. Books published by The University of Alabama Press have won this prize every year since 2001: Wayne Flynt’s Alabama in the Twentieth Century (2005); J. Mills Thornton III’s Dividing Lines: Municipal Politics and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Montgomery, Birmingham, and Selma (2003); and Andrew Manis’s A Fire You Can’t Put Out: The Civil Rigths Life of Birmingham’s Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth (2001).

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