Randolph B. “Mike” Campbell has spent the better part of the last five decades helping Texans rediscover their history, producing a stream of definitive works on the social, political, and economic structures of the Texas past. Through meticulous research and terrific prose, Campbell’s collective work has fundamentally remade how historians understand Texan identity and the state’s southern heritage, as well as our understanding of such contentious issues as slavery, westward expansion, and Reconstruction. Campbell’s pioneering work in local and county records has defined the model for grassroots research and community studies in the field. More than any other scholar, Campbell has shaped our modern understanding of Texas.
In this collection of seventeen original essays, Campbell’s colleagues, friends, and students offer a capacious examination of Texas’s history—ranging from the Spanish era through the 1960s War on Poverty—to honor Campbell’s deep influence on the field. Focusing on themes and methods that Campbell pioneered, the essays debate Texas identity, the creation of nineteenth-century Texas, the legacies of the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the remaking of the Lone Star State during the twentieth century. Featuring some of the most well-known names in the field—as well as rising stars—the volume offers the latest scholarship on major issues in Texas history, and the enduring influence of the most eminent Texas historian of the last half century.