Gregg Cantrell, Ph.D.
Gregg Cantrell was born in Sweetwater, Texas and raised in Cooper, Roswell (NM), and Abilene. He graduated from Abilene Cooper High School and majored in Management at Texas A&M (1979), where I also earned an MBA (1980). I later returned to A&M for a PhD in History (1988).
He is a Professor of History and the Erma and Ralph Lowe Chair in Texas History at Texas Christian University (TCU). He previously taught at the University of North Texas for three years, Hardin-Simmons University for two years, and Sam Houston State University for ten years. He is a three-degree Texas Aggie, but these days has divided loyalties between A&M and TCU.
He was trained in the field of Southern History by his mentors Dale T. Knobel, Robert A. Calvert, and Walter L. Buenger. Most of his work has focused on the state of Texas, and his early work dealt with the intersection of race and politics in the South. He wrote a biography of Stephen F. Austin and more recently a book on the Texas People's Party with Yale University Press. He coauthored a college-level textbook, coedited an anthology on history and collective memory in Texas, and has published a number of scholarly articles and essays.
In the years after the Civil War, the banks, railroads, and industrial corporations of Gilded‑Age America, abetted by a corrupt political system, concentrated vast wealth in the hands of the few and made poverty the fate of many. In response, a group of hard‑pressed farmers and laborers from Texas organized a movement for economic justice called the Texas People’s Party—the original Populists. Arguing that these Texas Populists were among the first to elaborate the set of ideas that would eventually become known as modern liberalism, Gregg Cantrell shows how the group broke new ground in reaching out to African Americans and Mexican Americans, rethinking traditional gender roles, and demanding creative solutions and forceful government intervention to solve economic inequality. Although their political movement ultimately failed, this volume reveals how the ideas of the Texas People’s Party have shaped American political history.
- Kate Broocks Bates Award for Historical Research (2020)
- TSHA Fellowship (2008)
- H. Bailey Carroll Award for Best Article in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly (2004)
- Kate Broocks Bates Award for Historical Research (2000)
- H. Bailey Carroll Award for Best Article in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly (2000)
- H. Bailey Carroll Award for Best Article in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly (1995)
- Coral Horton Tullis Memorial Prize for Best Book on Texas History (1992)
- President (2013–2014)