The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982

Book Reviews

Progressive Oklahoma fills a gap left open for some time in the his-
torical literature of Oklahoma. Goble brings together numerous un-
published sources, monographs, articles, biographies, and so forth,
into a well-written summation of a twenty-year period of Oklahoma
history. The book includes detailed footnotes and a complete bib-
liography; in addition, there are appropriate maps, illustrations, ap-
pendices, and an index. The book is well designed and surprisingly
low-priced in this day of ever-increasing production costs.
Goble's book generally achieves its purpose of presenting, in a lively
and interesting fashion, an outline of the events leading to the adop-
tion of the Oklahoma constitution of 1907. Its primary weakness may
in fact be a weakness inherited from three generations of historians.
By labeling the Oklahoma constitution "progressive," the author im-
plies that it was somehow different from a populist constitution that
in some ways it closely resembles. There are clearly many parallels
between the aims and objectives of the Oklahoma constitution of 1907
and the Omaha Platform of the Populist party, drafted some fifteen
years earlier. The strong anticorporate bias of the constitution and
the populist posturing of many of the early Oklahoma politicians in
many ways indicate an effort on the part of the Oklahoma consensus
to turn back the clock to a sort of preindustrial paradise. Whether or
not this was consistent with Progressive goals on the national level is
open to question. These are questions that might have been examined
-but then that might be a different book entirely.
Eastern Montana College ROBERT T. SMITH
Early Oklahoma Oil: A Photographic History, 1859-1936. By Kenny
Franks, Paul F. Lambert, and Carl N. Tyson. (College Station:
Texas A&M University Press, 1981. Pp. xiv+245. Preface, intro-
duction, photographs. $27.95.)
Most thoughtful observers would agree that oil has been one of the
most influential factors shaping the character of Oklahoma. Oil stimu-
lated industrial growth and economic development. Oil wealth made
substantial contributions to cultural and educational institutions in
the state. The authors of Early Oklahoma Oil believe that "oil ushered
Oklahoma into the twentieth century" (p. 234). Through both photo-
graphs and narrative Franks, Lambert, and Tyson describe the se-
quential geographic development of oil production in the Sooner
State, from commercially unimportant nineteenth-century discoveries


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed September 18, 2014.