Texas Tech Professor Publishes History of Amarillo

Paul H. Carlson, history professor at Texas Tech, published his eleventh book called 'Amarillo: The Story of a Western Town.'

DATE: Jan. 8, 2007
CONTACT: Gretchen Pressley, gretchen.m.pressley@ttu.edu
(806) 742-2136

Paul H. Carlson, history professor at Texas Tech, published his eleventh book called “Amarillo: The Story of a Western Town.”

The first comprehensive history of Amarillo, Carlson’s book traces the town's history from its origins in the 1880s through the election of Debra McCartt, current mayor of Amarillo, in 2005. The book details important political, economic, and cultural developments in the city’s past and explains how events in Amarillo, one of the largest cities on the Great Plains, relate to similar events in the state and nation.

Carlson has been studying the history of the Great Plains and the American West for most of his professional career. He started research for his history of Amarillo more than two years ago.

Events depicted and examined in the book include the debate over where the town would be located, the Ku Klux Klan in Amarillo, how the city responded to World War II, the tornado in 1949 that destroyed eastern portions of the city, the closing of the Amarillo Air Force base in the 1960s, and problems associated with the Pantex Ordinance plant in the 1980s.

Each of Carlson’s previous books describes historical events associated with the Great Plains and the American West. “The Plains Indians” was a History Book of the Month Club selection and was named recently as one of the “100 Most Outstanding Non-fiction Books on the American West Published in the 20th Century.”

“Amarillo: The Story of a Western Town” was published by Texas Tech University Press and released in December 2006.

[Editor’s note: If you would like to obtain a copy of “Amarillo: The Story of the Western Town” for review, please contact Texas Tech University Press at ttup@ttu.edu or (806) 742-2982.]

CONTACT: Paul Carlson, professor of history in the Department of History, (806) 742-1004, ext 225 or Paul.Carlson@ttu.edu.