Patrick O’Grady

My education in history began in my sophomore year of my undergraduate studies. While at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, I migrated to the humanities from the natural sciences. I eventually came around to studying the Cold War under my advisor Dr. Jeff Jones, a scholar of the Soviet Union. Under his tutelage, I studied the agrarian reform policies of the Sandinistas, a revolutionary group that overthrew the United States-backed Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua in 1979. Using documents from rural peasant union leaders and from contra (a US-backed counterinsurgency group) demobilization studies, I discovered that because of the contra war and the nature of Sandinista rural policy, many peasants who had supported the rise of the Sandinistas came to back the contra forces. I argued in my senior thesis entitled “You are Losing Touch with the People”: Sandinista Agrarian Reform and Rural Opposition that peasants’ disagreements with the Sandinista leaders led to a general climate of dissatisfaction in the countryside which the United States weaponized into support for the contras to handicap the revolutionary government. Also while at UNCG, I picked up a second major in anthropology. That discipline’s outlook continues to influence my research.

I am currently interested in the growth of neoliberalism and the role that neoliberal thought collectives played in that process.

I am also passionate about teaching. I worked as a TA for IAH 203 under Dr. Glenn Chambers and Dr. Edward Murphy in the fall and spring semesters, respectively. I am currently the assistant instructor for HST 425 with Dr. John Waller.

Year in Program: 2nd Year

Fields: 20th Century

Advisor: Dr. Edward Murphy

Committee: Drs. Edward Murphy, Peter Beattie, Emily Conroy-Krutz, and Sean Forner

Educational Background: BA in History and BA in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2017

Email: ogradyp1@msu.edu

Curriculum Vitae