Biography of Senator Dennis DeConcini to receive Southwest Book AwardSenator Dennis DeConcini: From the Center of the Aisle, by Dennis DeConcini and Jack L. August Jr., will receive a Southwest Book Award, an honor that has been bestowed upon outstanding literature for the past 36 years. Instituted in 1971, the Southwest Book Awards are sponsored by the Border Regional Library Association and encourage the writing and publication of noteworthy titles about the Southwest. To be awarded this honor, a nominated book must be deemed of the highest quality in the context of both the current year’s entries and the existing body of literature about the Southwest.
This political memoir, which Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano called a “fascinating account of the life and times of one of Arizona’s most distinguished leaders,” provides a first- person historical analysis of the most significant aspects of Senator DeConcini’s life in public service. Co-authored by Dr. Jack L. August Jr., Senator Dennis DeConcini reaches beyond the typical reflections of a political memoir. In doing so, this book provides penetrating and revealing insights into the inner workings and colorful characters of Arizona politics and the U.S. Senate. Since its release in the fall of 2006, this memoir has earned praise from newspapers across the state, from the Phoenix New Times and the Arizona Republic to the Arizona Daily Sun and the Tucson Citizen.
Currently a member of the Arizona Board of Regents, Senator DeConcini “played a vital role in national politics . . . and crossed the proverbial aisle on a continuing basis throughout his tenure,” according to Chelsea DeWeese of the Arizona Daily Sun. A contemporary of Arizona greats like Sandra Day O’Connor, Barry Goldwater, and Rose Mofford, Dennis DeConcini is an Arizona icon in his own right. Starting his public career as the Pima County Attorney, DeConcini orchestrated an unprecedented rise to a seat in the U.S. Senate, which he held for eighteen years. A vigilant centrist, DeConcini was not bound by strict party alliances but was instead deeply rooted in the independent political environment of Arizona. Giving insights into today’s political climate, DeConcini’s biography regales readers with stories of the reasoning behind the many decisions he has made over the years.
Co-author Jack L. August Jr. is a former Fulbright Scholar, National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellow, and Pulitzer Prize nominee in history for his volume Vision in the Desert: Carl Hayden and Hydropolitics in the American Southwest. He is currently the executive director of the Barry Goldwater Center for the Southwest and Visiting Scholar in Legal History at Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.