Late-nineteenth-century American populism has been the object of countless scholarly analyses, yet there is still no agreement on its character and historical impact. As historian James Turner puts it, “Pushing on toward a century after Populism burned its course across the American horizon, we have yet to puzzle out what impelled that brief meteor. This is not for lack of trying. Even the historian’s infinite capacity for disagreement has barely accommodated the quarrels over the Populists.” 1