Inaugural Winner Announced of Crader Family Book Prize in American Values

by News Bureau on Friday, Mar. 08, 2013

News_HouseonLemonStreet

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 8, 2013 – The inaugural winner of the Crader Family Book Prize in American Values has been announced at Southeast Missouri State University.

Mark Rawitsch, dean of instruction at Mendocino College in Ukiah, Calif., has been selected and will be awarded the winner for his book, “The House on Lemon Street: Japanese Pioneers and the American Dream,” published by the University Press of Colorado.

“This work clearly embodies the spirit of the Crader Family Book Prize,” said Dr. Mark E. Miller, a member of the judging panel and chair of the History Department at Southern Utah University.

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.

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

Nineteen entries to the competition were received. Honorable mention went to Eduardo Elena’s “Dignifying Argentina,” Pittsburgh Press, and Harvey Bartle III’s “Mortals with Tremendous Responsibilities,” St. Joseph’s Press. Elena is an assistant professor of history at the University of Miami. Bartle III is a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Finalists in the competition were:

• Donald Drakeman, “Church, State and Original Intent,” Cambridge (new arrival) • Tyler Johnson, “Devotion to the Adopted Country,” Missouri • MaryJean Wall, “How Kentucky Became Southern,” Kentucky • Mark Howland Rawitsch, “The House on Lemon Street,” Colorado • Harvey Bartle III, “Mortals with Tremendous Responsibilities,” St. Joseph’s • Priscilla Dowden-White, “Groping Toward Democracy,” Missouri • Eduardo Elena, “Dignifying Argentina,” Pittsburgh

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 2010, 2011, or 2012; 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 Nov. 1, after which they were judged by a panel, including Miller; Dr. Wayne Bowen, chair of the Southeast Department of History; and members of the Crader family.

“The author’s passion is evident,” Miller said of Rawitsch’s winning book. “He tells the story of the Harada family and their decades-long struggle to obtain civil rights, citizenship and ultimately liberty in the face of anti-Japanese discrimination from the early 20th century until World War II and after. He writes in an engaging style that captures and maintains the reader’s attention throughout the work.

“‘The House on Lemon Street’ is grounded in appropriate primary and secondary sources. In particular, the author makes excellent use of oral histories and personal insights throughout the book,” Miller said. “Through the specific details of the Harada family history, readers witness the struggles of Japanese Americans writ large for civil rights, property rights, and basic human rights under the U.S. Constitution. The book covers important decades for the Japanese people, including immigration at the turn of the century, building community in Riverside, California, battling alien land laws, and finally internment at Topaz, Utah.”

He added, “Rawitsch’s rich study is a fine example of scholarship on the minority experience in America and the larger battle for civil rights in the 20th century. Of the submissions for this year, ‘The House on Lemon Street’ best reflects the values of the Crader Family Book Prize: constitutional principles, civic virtues, and civil liberties.”

Bowen said that Elena’s honorable mention work “illustrates that questions of entitlement societies, property rights, and the development of a consumer culture are not unique to the history of the United States. In this well-argued narrative, the author presents a nuanced explanation for both the transformative impact of Peronism in Argentina, as well as the inherent instability of the statist system created by Juan and Eva Peron.”

On Bartle’s honorable mention work, Bowen said, “While American presidents, the Congress and the Supreme Court receive significant attention by historians, this work, by the former Chief Judge of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, recounts the essential function of the court system in the U.S. constitutional system. From its origins in the early republic, to its key role in critical case law over the following centuries, this District Court, emblematic of the federal court system in general, served as the essential third branch of government, at the intersection of governmental reach and individual liberties.”

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. Don, Saundra, Stan and Debbie Crader of Marble Hill and Jackson, Mo., have 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.