The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

quarterback Sammy Baugh; and "the King of Western Swing" music-Bob Wills.
Lesser-known locals like convicted wife murderer Bobby Temlin (Chapter
Seventeen is entirely devoted to his story); Fort Worth's enigmatic football leg-
end Joe Don Looney; Odessa liquor magnate Tom "Pinkie" Roden; stripper
Candy Barr; and football coaching hero Gordon Wood of Brownwood.
Factual historical sources are limited to a few secondary plus numerous "hon-
orary" primary sources (e.g. newspaper articles). Texas Siftings, Oil Legends of Fort
Worth, Pioneer Jewzsh Texans, A Personal Country (which the authors feel should be
a West Texan's Bible) and a biography of Charles Goodnight byJ. Evetts Haley,
together with stories contributed by most of the region's newspapers, plus arti-
cles by fellow AP journalists make up the bulk of the bibliography. Traditional
primary sources may not be required of this coffee-table book, however, since its
purpose is simply to tell some stories about the land and the people who have
lived on it. One gets the feeling that Cochran and Lumpkin were sitting around
their favorite watering hole one night when someone said, "Hey, we've got
enough stories for a book here." Indeed, in the acknowledgment section, we are
told that portions of the book have appeared previously in essays and feature sto-
ries for the AP between 1970 and 1999 by these same two authors. The stories,
while sometimes interesting, probably do not warrant a second retelling, espe-
cially in book form.
Principia College JOHN GLEN
Oil and Ideology: The Cultural Creation of the Amencan Petroleum Industry. By Roger
M. Olien and Diana Davids Olien. (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North
Carolina Press, 2ooo. Pp. xvii+3o5. Preface, acknowledgments, conclusion,
notes, index. ISBN 0-8078-2523-9. $49-95, cloth.)
The Oliens are back with another look at the petroleum industry; this time
with a twist. More than is indicated by the title, their work examines not only
the evolving cultural, i.e., public, perception of the industry, but how that view
shaped the milieu in which oilmen had to function. They identify several pre-
dominant strains of thought prevalent between 1859 and 1945 that influenced
political debate in connection with regulating the industry for the benefit of
the public. These variant perspectives molded public discourse, and thereby
political action.
The petroleum industry proved a tempting, even an unsporting target.
Production, refining, and retailing of hydrocarbons seemed to be the work of
monolithic corporate structures. Larger than men, more threatening than agri-
culture's yeoman farmer, faceless, oil brought wealth to few at the expense of
many. And "big oil" arrived on the national scene simultaneously with the dehu-
manizing Gilded Age. As public discourse and the newspapers would repeatedly
point out late in the nineteenth century, Standard Oil teamed with railroads to
eliminate competition and sell refined products to the urban masses at inflated
prices; Grangers and industrialists alike shared a common foe. The Oliens right-
ly focus on the success of casting John D. Rockefeller and his terrifically well-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101221/. Accessed July 25, 2014.