Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, its Chaotic Founding… its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-class Metropolis

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It is rare that a book about Oklahoma City receives national attention, but Sam Anderson’s Boom Town, which offers an insightful look at the oft-forgotten city, has captured the interest of Okies and non-natives alike. Originally sent to OKC in 2012 to write a magazine piece about the Oklahoma City Thunder, Anderson’s fascination grew, resulting in this thoughtful, meticulously researched, mildly humorous, and overall enthralling narrative of OKC.

Anderson writes about the Oklahoma Land Run and the drama of OKC’s first year, the city’s black history with inspiring activists like Roscoe Dunjee and Clara Luper, the powerful city builder Stanley Draper, and the push for urban renewal which brought about the destructive Pei Plan. In more recent history, Anderson discusses local meteorologist Gary England and his groundbreaking reportage of the unforgiving tornadoes that have ravaged the area, Flaming Lips’ eccentric Wayne Coyne and his unwavering devotion to his hometown, and of course the devastating bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Unfortunately Anderson focuses nearly half of his book on the Thunder. While the surprisingly successful NBA team has certainly played a major part in OKC’s recent history, Anderson spends so much time reporting on the team that he overlooks the many other current elements of the city that are just as notable. Nevertheless, Boom Town is ideal for those with ties to OKC or anyone interested in people, the places they inhabit, and the unique transformation of both.


Reviewed By:

Author Sam Anderson
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 448 pages
Publisher Crown 
Publish Date 2018-08-21
ISBN 9780804137317
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue Mar-19
Category Science & Nature
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