Alvin York biographer named winner of 2015 William E. Colby Award

Biographer Colonel Douglas V. Mastriano, PhD  is the 2015 William E. Colby Award winner for his book, Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne. Norwich University awards the Colby annually to an author of a first book.

In the book, published in 2014 by the University Press of Kentucky, Mastriano uses archival research, military terrain analysis and forensic study to reconstruct the events of the October 1918 act of heroism that earned Sergeant York the Medal of Honor in the First World War. Mastriano details York’s early life in Tennessee, his service in the war, and his return to a civilian life dedicated to charity. As the centennial of American involvement in World War I approaches, this book shares the story of one of the war’s most notable heroes.

“I am humbled by the distinction of being the 2015 William E Colby Award recipient. The Colby Award represents the highest caliber of works published in the United States since 1999. It is a privilege to have the book ‘Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne’ recognized worthy of this honor,” said Mastriano.

Mastriano is the co-founder of The Sergeant York Discovery Expedition (SYDE) and led the effort to locate the exact spot where Alvin York eliminated a machine-gun nest and captured 132 German soldiers. The group’s research has been endorsed by U.S. and French authorities. SYDE organized the construction of a five-kilometer historic trail in France’s Argonne Forest for visitors to experience a piece of World War I history.

A $5,000 author honorarium is provided through a grant from the Chicago-based Tawani Foundation. The award and honorarium will be presented at Norwich University during the 20th anniversary of the Colby Military Writers’ Symposium at the Meet the Authors Dinner on April 9, 2015.

Other 2015 Symposium guests include Lewis “Bob” Sorley, author and former CIA chief of Policy and Plans Division; Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and author Philip Caputo; and Cheri Caddy, Director for Cybersecurity Policy Integration and Outreach, National Security Staff

View the full symposium schedule.

Save the Date! The 20th anniversary of the William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium will be held April 8-9, 2015. 

“Cyber Warfare and Privacy: How Do We Keep the Balance Between the Rights of Citizens and the Security of the Nation?”

The Colby Symposium is a two-day event that includes a moderated public panel discussion, author classroom visits and presentations, book signings, and the Meet the Authors dinner.Register to attend.




Copyright © 2015 Norwich University. All rights reserved.