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Book by NMSU archivist receives state awards

"The Whole Damned World: New Mexico Aggies at War 1941-1945" has been awarded the 2009 New Mexico History Book Award and the first-ever Best New Mexico Book Award. The awards were presented at the New Mexico Book Awards banquet held Nov. 20 in Albuquerque.

The book was edited by New Mexico State University Library archivist Martha Shipman Andrews, with an introduction by Richard Melzer of the University of New Mexico-Valencia. Published in 2008 by the NMSU Library in collaboration with Rio Grande Books, the book received the Caliente Award from Reading New Mexico last spring.

The Best New Mexico Book Award is a new category honoring New Mexico's centennial. It honors the New Mexico book with the highest score given by the judges from throughout New Mexico.

"The Whole Damned World" is comprised of a selection of approximately 250 letters written to NMSU Dean of Engineering Daniel B. Jett by former students serving in all branches of the services and every theater of World War II. The entire collection of 5,000 letters, a series within the records of NMSU's College of Engineering, is held by the Archives and Special Collections Department of the NMSU Library.

The mission of the New Mexico Book Awards is to promote and recognize great books published in the Southwest and New Mexico. The best of Southwestern literature is judged by a distinguished panel of scholars and librarians.

The awards are underwritten by Albuquerque The Magazine, Borders, Sunbelt Shows/Fiery Foods, New Mexico Book Co-op and the New Mexico Humanities Council. The award is sponsored by the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library System and the Friends of the Albuquerque Public Library, Around 505 Magazine, Camera Arts Magazine, Hastings stores in Albuquerque, Ironic Horse Studios, Laboratory of Anthropology Library, Land of Enchantment Romance Authors, New Mexico Book Association, New Mexico Coalition for Literacy, New Mexico Kids Magazine, New Mexico Library Foundation, New Mexico State Library, PageOne Books, Pen New Mexico, Portales Public Library, ReadWest, Rio Rancho Public Library, Santa Fe Public Library, Southwest Writers, Walmart at Zuni in Albuquerque and the WordHarvest Writers Workshop.

Information about the book and the awards is available at http://www.nmsantos.com. Hard and soft cover copies of the book are available at local book stores and online at www.Amazon.com.

For more information contact Andrews at (575) 646-5028 or mandrews@lib.nmsu.edu.