Penngrove authors Gerald and Janice Haslam have received the 2013 Samuel I. Hayakawa Book Prize for their biography In Thought and Action: The Enigmatic Life of S.I. Hayakawa.

The annual prize goes to the most outstanding work published in the past five years on topics of direct relevance to the discipline of general semantics.

Hayakawa’s book, Language in Thought and Action, is used as an introduction to general semantics for high school and college students. An English professor, Hayakawa was president of San Francisco State University during the 1968-1969 student strikes, and served as a Republican senator for California from 1977-1983.

The Haslams’ biography draws on interviews with Hayakawa’s family and friends and his journals and papers. Hayakawa, son of Japanese immigrants, was born and raised in California.

Gerald Haslam was a graduate student in 1963 when he sought admission to the professor’s seminar on general semantics. “I knew him, but by no means always agreed with him, especially on politics,” Haslam said.

He commented the challenge of the biography was to write a balanced account, allowing readers to decide how they feel about him, based on facts, rather than rumor or gossip.

The Haslams will receive the award Oct. 25 in New York City.

For more information about the book, visit

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