James E. McWilliams

James McWilliams is an Ingram professor of history at Texas State University-San Marcos.


Park the SUV’s

The Weather Makers: The History and Future of Climate Change The Bush administration has repeatedly taken the disingenuous position that global warming is an issue awash in scientific uncertainty. For an administration whose fealty to the oil and gas industry … Read More



Where Have All the Dicks Gone?

At the start of each semester, without fail, at least two people in my classes—usually perky little blonde girls born circa 1987—announce themselves as “Reagan.” Although the roster gives away the spelling, and thus origin, of their names, I’ll often … Read More


Pass the Pesticides

The Death of Ramón González: The Modern Agricultural Dilemma Sometimes it’s a seemingly random sentence in a book that makes the deepest impression. It’s often a line that could easily have been tossed by a sloppy editor, or even self-edited … Read More


God’s Little Army

Locust: The Devastating Rise and Mysterious Disappearance of the Insect that Shaped the American Frontier Entomologists are quite possibly some of the weirdest people on the face of the earth. Obsessive compulsion is more than a common bond for these … Read More


Indescribable Horror, Circa 1927

Indescribable Horror, Circa 1927 BY JAMES E. McWILLIAMS The simplest lesson of the New Orleans disaster might be something like this: storms are perfect, but humans are flawed. When Katrina’s surge overwhelmed the levees, tens of thousands of America’s poor, … Read More


Kids R Us

Huck’s Raft: A History of American Childhood There’s a 3-year-old kid in my son’s class who’s a gentle giant. All smiles and sweetness, he lumbers around the classroom knocking things over—blocks, trucks, stacks of books, and pretty much anything between … Read More


The Story of Corporal Jason Dunham

The Story of Corporal Jason Dunham BY JAMES E. McWILLIAMS The Gift of Valor: A War Story By Michael M. Phillips Broadway Books 256 pages, $19.95 he “Gift of Valor” is a book so painful and sad that you need … Read More


Bugs, Bays, and Biology Lessons

Bugs, Bays, and Biology Lessons BY JAMES E. McWILLIAMS Life on Matagorda Island By Wayne H. McAlister Texas A&M University Press 264 pages, $17.95 The Book of Texas Bays By Jim Blackburn Texas A&M University Press 290 pages, $40 ere’s … Read More