News Release

Keith Finley

Southeastern historian recognized for book

Contact: Rene Abadie


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     HAMMOND –  Keith M. Finley, a Southeastern Louisiana University instructor of history and the assistant director of the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies, has been awarded the D.B. Hardeman Prize for his book “Delaying the Dream: Southern Senators and the Fight against Civil Rights, 1938-1965.”
     The prize, named after Congressional researcher and assistant to Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, includes a $2,500 award given by the Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation for what is considered “the best book that focuses on the U.S Congress, from the fields of biography, history, journalism and political science.”  
     Prize candidates are judged on the importance of an author’s contribution to scholarship on the Congress, as well as literary craftsmanship, originality and depth of research. “It’s an honor to be recognized by such a distinguished national panel that included people both inside and outside of the university setting,” said Finley.
     Finley’s book, published in 2008 by LSU Press, focuses on the purposeful delay of Civil Rights advancement by Southern Senators.  As the realization occurred that the Jim Crow laws were at risk, segregationists began to devise new tactics to impede the progress of civil rights reform. Finley’s work discusses the successful tactics used by Southern senators as well as the Constitutional defenses used to maintain their policy, laws and beliefs.
     “’Delaying the Dream’ is the product of research that I began here at Southeastern while working on my master’s degree and finished as a graduate student at LSU,” Finley said. “The award reflects on the quality of the education provided at both those institutions.”

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