Boom Town

By Sam Anderson,

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

Book description

A brilliant, kaleidoscopic narrative of Oklahoma City—a great American story of civics, basketball, and destiny, from award-winning journalist Sam Anderson

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • NPR • Chicago Tribune • San Francisco Chronicle • The Economist • Deadspin…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Boom Town as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

With keywords like "history of Oklahoma" and "basketball," this book seems an unlikely candidate for one I love.

Sam Anderson’s deftness as a writer, however, makes it a great read, even for a non-sporto coast dweller like me. He interweaves a story of the OKC and the NBA, describing the tension between “boom” and “process” that shaped both. Trust him, trust the process.

Reading stories of history long past is one thing, but it’s another to see our own history. I grew up after the big oil bust of the ‘80s and the renaissance afterward, which Anderson juxtaposes with the wild days of early Oklahoma City. It’s hard to believe you can get gunfights and NBA playoffs all in one place, but Boom Town, and Oklahoma City, show just how to do that.

Although I write Science Fiction and Anderson’s book is Non-Fiction, the way in which he writes about the history of Oklahoma City has stayed with me. An author may choose to write their story through the point of view of a single person but we, as individuals, are never isolated. Our lives are constantly bumping against the history of everyone and everything around us, all shaped by forces we are rarely ever fully aware of. You may get sent to Oklahoma City to write about their basketball team and end up writing a 400 something page book about the entire…

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