Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, its Chaotic Founding... its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-class Metropolis
Author: Sam Anderson
Number Of Pages: 448
Release Date: 2018-08-21
Details: A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2018 BY NPR, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, THE ECONOMIST AND DEADSPIN
Award-winning journalist Sam Anderson’s long-awaited debut is a brilliant, kaleidoscopic narrative of Oklahoma City--a great American story of civics, basketball, and destiny.
Oklahoma City was born from chaos. It was founded in a bizarre but momentous "Land Run" in 1889, when thousands of people lined up along the borders of Oklahoma Territory and rushed in at noon to stake their claims. Since then, it has been a city torn between the wild energy that drives its outsized ambitions, and the forces of order that seek sustainable progress. Nowhere was this dynamic better realized than in the drama of the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team’s 2012-13 season, when the Thunder’s brilliant general manager, Sam Presti, ignited a firestorm by trading future superstar James Harden just days before the first game. Presti’s all-in gamble on “the Process”—the patient, methodical management style that dictated the trade as the team’s best hope for long-term greatness—kicked off a pivotal year in the city’s history, one that would include pitched battles over urban planning, a series of cataclysmic tornadoes, and the frenzied hope that an NBA championship might finally deliver the glory of which the city had always dreamed.
Boom Town announces the arrival of an exciting literary voice. Sam Anderson, former book critic for New York magazine and now a staff writer at the New York Times magazine, unfolds an idiosyncratic mix of American history, sports reporting, urban studies, gonzo memoir, and much more to tell the strange but compelling story of an American city whose unique mix of geography and history make it a fascinating microcosm of the democratic experiment. Filled with characters ranging from NBA superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook; to Flaming Lips oddball frontman Wayne Coyne; to legendary Great Plains meteorologist Gary England; to Stanley Draper, Oklahoma City's would-be Robert Moses; to civil rights activist Clara Luper; to the citizens and public servants who survived the notorious 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building, Boom Town offers a remarkable look at the urban tapestry woven from control and chaos, sports and civics.An Amazon Best Book of August 2018: If Oklahoma City didn’t strike me as a place that would make a particularly interesting subject of a 400-page “biography,” I probably wouldn’t be alone. Apologies to every Oklahoman: We’d all be wrong. Sam Anderson’s Boom Town is the story of the city’s quest to become a “world-class metropolis,” a biorhythmic cycle of booms and busts from its Wild West "Land Run" origins to its apocalyptic weather and the tragedy of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The engine of the story is the Thunder, the National Basketball Association franchise lifted from Seattle by a cadre of oilmen with the help of henchman David Stern, then the league’s overweening commissioner. But you don't have to be a basketball junkie to love this book (honestly though, it helps); its eccentric and often iconoclastic cast of characters—including Wayne Coyne (the tirelessly weird frontman of the Flaming Lips), "Holy Chief Meteorologist and Severe Weather Savior" Gary England, and a host of civic movers-and-shakers of varying integrity—keeps Anderson's unconventional "biography" fast-paced, fun, and unpredictable—much like the team the Thunder became in the years after the move. Hopefully it will be just as popular. --Jon Foro, Amazon Book Review
Package Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.7 inches