The Gilded Age and Progressive Era

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Texas: The Birthplace of Populism

Ep. 35

Everything is bigger in Texas, including political movements. I have yet to speak with scholars of populism, and this show rectifies that with two outstanding authors of the latest Texas populism histories (professors Gregg Cantrell and Thomas Alter) and a guest host, my colleague at Dickinson State University Dr. Jeff Wells.


Essential Reading:


Gregg Cantrell, The People’s Revolt: Texas Populists and the Roots of American Liberalism (2020)


Thomas Alter II, Toward a Cooperative Commonwealth: The Transplanted Roots of Farmer-Labor Radicalism in Texas (2022).


Recommended Reading:


Donna Barnes, Farmers in Rebellion: The Rise and Fall of the Southern Farmers Alliance and People’s Party in Texas (1984). 


Lawrence Goodwyn, Democratic Promise: The Populist Moment in America (1976). 


Matthew Hild, Greenbackers, Knights of Labor, and Populists, Farmer-Labor Insurgency in the Late-Nineteenth-Century South (2007). 


Roscoe Martin, The People’s Party in Texas: A Case Study in Third-Party Politics (1933). 


Robert C. McMath, Jr., Populist Vanguard: A History of the Southern Farmers' Alliance (1975).


Charles Postel, The Populist Revolt (2007).


Marion K. Barthelme, (ed.), Women in the Texas Populist Movement: Letters to the Southern Mercury (1997). 


Theresa Case, The Great Southwest Railroad Strike and Free Labor (2010).


Tim Lehman, Up the Trail: How Texas Cowboys Herded Longhorns and Became an American Icon (2018).

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