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Book Award for Accounting History and the Rise of Civilization

I was notified a few weeks before the American Accounting Association annual meeting in early August that I won the Barbara Merino Award for Excellence in Accounting History Publication for 2018 from the Academy of Accounting Historians for Accounting History and the Rise of Civilization. Because I was getting off a cruise ship in Galveston the same day the award was presented in Washington, D.C., I had to hustle to make airline and other arrangements to be there. I made it and was really pleased to accept the award in person and then hanging out with a group of historians.

Accounting is a profession (I assume one of many or most professions) with little interest in history, except for a hard core of academics with a passion/love for history--virtually all members of the Academy of Accounting Historians. Consequently, receiving the award from this group was extremely gratifying, in part because my focus was different from other attempts (e.g. taking a very broad, long-term view, emphasizing the cross-overs to other disciplines and the importance to civilization as a whole). Apparently, this approach went over fairly well. Business Expert Press, the publisher of the book, had a display on the book and, according to Managing Executive Editor Scott Isenberg, generated considerable interest.

I was able to hang out at the meeting through Wednesday and talk to dozens of friends, colleagues and especially accounting historians. On Monday was a presentation on double entry bookkeeping, which was very good. I wrote a good bit about double entry in my book, but the level of knowledge about the subject was vast and informative. There were several British historians and they seemed especially knowledgeable on the subject. I had a great talk with Richard Macve of the London School of Economics, one of the presenters. We have since exchanged emails and copies of papers/presentations. Talking to Gary Previts was a real joy; Gary has been a friend and of great assistance on the book. I was also able to congratulate him on receiving the Lifetime Service Award from the AAA. I met Greg Waymire, I believe for the first time, who wrote great empirical papers on historical topics (published in major journals, a difficult feat for historical topics).

Finally, I met several former Ph.D. students from TAMU, including Val Vendrzyk, Elizabeth Oliver, and Bill Pasawark. All are doing well. It's great to meet former students who became good friends as well as colleagues.

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