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Michael J. Hightower, PhD, is an independent historian and biographer. As a scholar and descendant of pioneer bankers, his fields of interest include the American frontier, banking, and commerce. He has written two privately published histories of banking in Oklahoma, MidFirst Bank and BancFirst; a two-volume history, Banking in Oklahoma (OU Press, 2013 and 2014); and a novel, The Pattersons, in which he explores the resonance of frontier themes in a fast-paced, contemporary tale of intrigue and corporate greed.

His most recent book is 1889: The Boomer Movement, the Land Run, and Early Oklahoma City (OU Press, 2018). This book grew out of his role as historian for the 89er Trail, an interpretive walking trail in downtown OKC commemorating the fabled run. In 1889, Michael tells Oklahoma’s foundation story from 1866 through the first twenty months of urban settlement not as an isolated episode from the vanishing frontier, but rather, as a crucible of Gilded-Age politics that riveted the nation’s attention throughout the 1880s and early 1890s.

Michael holds a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Virginia, an M.S. in Mass Communications from Oklahoma State University, an M.A. in History from the University of Denver, and a B.A. in History from Washington and Lee University.

He discusses his work with business organizations, community groups, historical societies, and book clubs. To see about a book discussion in your area, contact him by phone, 434.249.6043, or at his business (2 Cities Press LLC) email address, twocitiespress@gmail.com.

Michael lives with his wife, Judy, in Charlottesville and Oklahoma City.