American University Professor Wins Crader Family Book Prize in American Values

Emergency Presidential PowerfrontcoverCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 24, 2014 – The 2014 winner of the Crader Family Book Prize in American Values has been announced at Southeast Missouri State University.

Chris Edelson,  assistant professor of government at American University in Washington, D.C., and director of the Politics, Policy and Law Scholars Program, has been selected as the winner for his book, “Emergency Presidential Power: From the Drafting of the Constitution to the War on Terror,” published by University of Wisconsin Press.

“In this sweeping study, the author has provided a well-written analysis of the increasingly controversial presidential utilization of emergency power,” said Dr. Mark Miller of Southern Utah University, who served on the prize committee. “The book clearly exemplifies the values of the Crader Family Book Prize, promoting the study and greater understanding of the evolution of American values of individual liberty, constitutional principles and evolving notions of civic virtues.  The debate on emergency power in the press and scholarly works such as Edelson’s monograph in many ways validates the foresight of the founders, namely that separation of powers, checks and balances, and a healthy debate about the limits of each branch’s power is vital and healthy to a living, thriving republic.”

The Crader Family Book Prize recognizes a first book, which best exemplifies the values of the Crader Family Endowment for American Values: individual liberty, constitutional principles and civic virtue.

Edelson was awarded a $1,000 honorarium for his winning entry.

“I am thrilled and honored to receive this prize,” said Edelson, upon hearing of his selection for the Crader Family Book Prize in American Values. “I am a deep believer in the U.S. Constitution as a foundational source of American values, and I hope this book will prompt readers to ask questions about how our government can remain faithful to those values in the context of national security.”

Dr. Wayne Bowen, chair of the Department of History at Southeast, added “Edelson’s book provides readers with a well-written manual for understanding the complicated history of executive power in the American system.  Moving beyond partisan accounts, which hold responsible only presidents of the opposite party, Edelson traces the relationship between the Constitution as written and the employment of emergency powers by administrations from Washington to Obama.”

Honorable mention went to Dr. Adam Criblez’s “Parading Patriotism: Independence Day Celebrations in the Urban Midwest, 1826-1876,” Northern Illinois University Press.  Criblez is assistant professor of history and director of the Center for Regional History at Southeast Missouri State University.

Submissions were open to any area of United States, European or Latin American history, but were required to examine the historical development of the political, religious and economic heritage of Western Civilization, or events directly related to them.

The competition was open to books that were peer-reviewed; published by an academic, university or commercial press in 2011, 2012 or 2013; written by a sole author; and a single work, rather than an edited collection or anthology. Works that were self-published, in languages other than English, or only existed as e-books were not considered.

Authors were required to be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Publishers were permitted to nominate as many works as they believed met the criteria.

Entries were accepted through Dec. 31, after which they were judged by a panel, including Miller, Bowen and members of the Crader family.

The Crader Family Endowment for American Values exists within the Southeast Missouri University Foundation, is managed by the chair of the Department of History and is dedicated to education, research and public engagement in the historical traditions of the United States of America and Western Civilization.

The endowment’s objectives are to increase knowledge and appreciation of the political, religious and economic heritage of this nation and the West, and the values of individual liberty, constitutional principles and civic virtue that are at the foundation of this society. The endowment is named in honor of the Crader Family. Saundra, Stan and Debbie Crader of Marble Hill and Jackson, Mo., and the late Don Crader made a commitment to support its efforts and are its initial primary financial sponsors.

For more information on the Crader Family Book Prize in American Values, contact Bowen at wbowen@semo.edu or (573) 651-2179.