Tarleton history professor discusses latest book on Texas Public Radio

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Dr. Janet Schmelzer, professor of social sciences at Tarleton State University, signs copies of her latest book during a recent College of Liberal & Fine Arts faculty book signing event.

STEPHENVILLE (May 12, 2015) — Tarleton State University professor of social sciences Dr. Janet Schmelzer was a recent guest on Texas Public Radio to discuss her latest book, Our Fighting Governor – The Life of Thomas M. Campbell and the Politics of Progressive Reform in Texas.

Schmelzer joined Texas Public Radio’s David Martin Davies, host of the weekly half-hour radio news magazine Texas Matters, on May 8, when she discussed her book and Campbell’s life, political career and legacy.

Published last fall by Texas A&M University Press, Our Fighting Governor – The Life of Thomas M. Campbell and the Politics of Progressive Reform in Texasprovides new insight into the inner workings of the Texas Democratic Party at the turn of the 20th century. Schmelzer uncovers Campbell’s political philosophy and the importance of his leadership in guiding the agenda for progressive reform in Texas, which resulted in the passage of reform legislation and marked him as a southern progressive governor.

Closely associated with former Texas Gov. James Stephen Hogg, Campbell played a central role in reviving the Hogg reform movement and building a strong record of progressive laws in areas such as social welfare, public education and tax reform. In the broader context of southern progressivism, Campbell was a leading progressive governor much like Hoke Smith of Georgia, Benjamin Comer of Alabama, Charles B. Aycock of North Carolina, and Andrew Jackson Montague of Virginia.

Schmelzer’s full biography of Campbell’s life and political career shines a light on his contributions and successes as well as his failures and shortcomings.

The Tarleton professor previously authored Where the West Begins: Fort Worth and Tarrant County, published by Windsor Books in 1986.

To listen to Dr. Schmelzer’s interview on Texas Public Radio’s Texas Matters, visit http://tpr.org/post/texas-matters-gov-thomas-campbell-and-progressive-era-texas.

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