The history of the Lone Star state is a narrative dominated by larger-than-life personalities and often-contentious legends, presenting interesting challenges for historians. Perhaps for this reason, Texas has produced a cadre of revered historians who have had a significant impact on the preservation (some would argue creation) of our state’s past. An anthology of biographical essays, Writing the Story of Texas pays tribute to the scholars who shaped our understanding of Texas’s past and, ultimately, the Texan identity.
Edited by esteemed historians Patrick Cox and Kenneth Hendrickson, this collection includes insightful, cross-generational examinations of pivotal individuals who interpreted our history. On these pages, the contributors chart the progression from Eugene C. Barker’s groundbreaking research to his public confrontations with Texas political leaders and his fellow historians. They look at Walter Prescott Webb’s fundamental, innovative vision as a promoter of the past and Ruthe Winegarten’s efforts to shine the spotlight on minorities and women who made history across the state. Other essayists explore Llerena Friend delving into an ambitious study of Sam Houston, Charles Ramsdell courageously addressing delicate issues such as racism and launching his controversial examination of Reconstruction in Texas, Robert Cotner—an Ohio-born product of the Ivy League—bringing a fresh perspective to the field, and Robert Maxwell engaged in early work in environmental history.