The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977

Book Reviews

the present, tense, inflation-plagued years of energy crisis-from the froni-
ier to the freeway.
Oil Power provides a clear, specific overview of how petroleum has
expanded its kingdom, from the growth of the automobile and the legis-
lation of the depletion allowance, through the scandals of Teapot Dome,
to the development of offshore wells and the heyday of cheap Middle
Eastern oil, and the bonanza that natural gas has become. In his exam-
ination of the "one world" made possible by oil-driven machines-"prob-
ably the primary event of the twentieth century" (p. 103)-Solberg in-
cludes such interrelated topics as suburban growth, standardization of
motel services, wasteful practices of Detroit and of drivers, environmental
pollution, the tyranny of the interstate highways, and the rise of the woman
driver-"female slaves of the wheel" (p. 144). The way many Americans
behaved during the 1973 gasoline crisis is a good enough index of the
importance petroleum has come to have in our lives.
Solberg makes clear, for those still unconvinced, that the days of cheap
energy are gone forever, and that the United States's status as an interna-
tional leader is now in jeopardy. He notes that we have neared the limits
of growth, that in the past we prolonged our prosperity by expanding
overseas, which we paid for later with inflation. His facts compel one
to see the need for a change in national life style.
This well-researched, thought-provoking book helps put a rambunctious
industry into perspective with objectivity. One cavil is with the number
of puzzling errors, such as James Henry Hogg for the Texas governor
and James Cullinan for "Buckskin Joe" who helped found The Texas
Company. Otherwise it is a book worth knowing-and thinking about.
Austin JAMES PRESLEY
A Narrative History of Brazoria County. By James A. Creighton. Draw-
ings by Zella McDaniel. (Angleton, Texas: Brazoria County Histori-
cal Commission, 1975. Pp. vii+533. Illustrations, maps, appendix,
index. $I o.)
After half a lifetime of reading, always with interest, often with en-
lightenment, Texas county histories, I find one that approaches the desid-
eratum. It lacks filial veneration, and it places people and events in rela-
tionship with outside forces, through an incredible span-four centuries.
Creighton's Brazoria was long in gestation-begun during eight "Magic
Years" after this Arkansas native, North Texas trained (Ennis, Austin
College, SMU) arrived a stranger and dedicated himself to that region,

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/. Accessed July 10, 2014.