David Smith

David Smith

Senior Lecturer
Baylor University

Dr. David A. Smith is a senior lecturer in American history at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He received his undergraduate degree from what is now Texas State University in San Marcos, and his Ph.D. in modern American history from the University of Missouri in the year 2000.

In addition to being the author of Money for Art: The Tangled Web of Art and Politics in American Democracy (Ivan R. Dee, 2008), his columns on art, culture and politics have appeared in the Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal, the Dallas Morning News, the Austin American-Statesman, and the Waco Tribune-Herald. He has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, the Mars Hill Audio Journal, The Jim Bohannon Show, WNYC’s “Soundcheck,” KERA’s “Think,” WBAP’s “Mark Davis Show,” and numerous other national and regional radio shows. An avid public speaker, he has spoken to civic organizations ranging from art galleries to the Rotary Club, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, the Fort Worth World Affairs Council, and the Audie Murphy Museum. He serves on the board of directors of the Waco Cultural Arts Fest, and his book reviews have appeared in outlets from the Washington Times to the Naval War College Review.

Blog Posts

How immigration gave rise to American pop culture

Before our polyglot world of mass movement and mass immigration, what we know as pop culture didn’t exist.

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The Progressive War: Woodrow Wilson and the US Entry into WWI

The American entry into the war was the apotheosis of progressivism — the high-water mark of its crusading zeal.

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The meaning of American populism

Trump is just the latest manifestation of an old American instinct.

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Make Compromise Great Again: Arthur Schlesinger and the politics of the extreme

It is the peripheral positions in modern politics, on both right and left, that inevitably deteriorate into tyranny.

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Political parties are just shopping bags for ideas

Is Donald Trump shredding the Republican Party? Some commentators marvel at the statist implications of Trump’s vow to spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure projects — a vow that echoes both Obama’s stimulus package and FDR’s New Deal.

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A hero is worth 1,000 words

Truly virtuous behavior cannot be compelled. Demonstrating virtue and consequently inspiring people to be virtuous is a fundamental and necessary component of a free society.

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How the Free Market Created Impressionism

The tremendous expansion of the middle class that came along with industrialization was crucial in stimulating a new market for art. The trappings of luxury that in prior centuries were limited to the extremely wealthy became more affordable, just as there were more consumers who sought to decorate their homes in ways that signaled their social level.

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