The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003

Book Reviews

closely traces with a fine eye to detail its incorporation into the state-supported
normal system at the beginning of the twentieth century, its rise to a teacher's
college of statewide reputation prior to World War II, and its growth into an aca-
demically diversified regional university with graduate programs by the 196os.
The new, second part of the book dealing with the post-196os is of course the
most interesting and meaty since it chronicles in almost exhaustive specificity
the expansion of North Texas into a major, state-supported research university
of increasing national repute. In so doing, these chapters comprehensively
chronicle the administrations of John Kammerick, C. C. "Jitter" Nolen, Frank
Vandiver, and Alfred Hurley. The viewpoint manifested in this analysis is cen-
tered completely on what might be styled a high-level administrator's perspec-
tive because the author recounts solely and exclusively, in almost micro-detail,
the work of senior university officials, bureaucratic offices, campus task forces,
and executive committees in formulating policy, physically expanding the cam-
pus, and developing the university's instructional programs. Rogers quotes
extensively and often in his narrative from board of trustees documents, presi-
dential reports, committee minutes, and other official university papers while he
provides lists of statistics, compendiums of issues discussed or decided, and
meticulous descriptions of particular meetings at which administrators dealt
with university policy. Very little attention, if any, is given to everyday student or
faculty matters, except in instances when such concerns demanded administra-
tive involvement or response. For that reason, North Texas alumni from the last
four decades who read this volume will probably find little within its pages that
they remember personally from their time on the campus. Instead, this volume
offers the reader a relatively uncritical inside story of how executive leadership
at the presidential level during the last forty years has advanced the University of
North Texas from being a regional state university into its emerging status as
one of the Southwest's comprehensive research institutions.
Austin College Light Townsend Cummins
Oil in Texas: The Gusher Age, 1895-1945. By Diana Davids Olien and Roger M.
Olien. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2oo0. Pp. 319. Preface, notes,
glossary, bibliography, index. ISBN 0-292-76056-6. $39.95, cloth.)
The petroleum industry was beginning its ascent to economic stardom in the
United States in the latter years of the nineteenth century. The boom had begun
in Pennsylvania and traveled across the continent, but it appeared that Texas
would not be a player. The attention of the major developers remained on
Kansas and South Dakota even after a commercially viable field was opened at
Corsicana. But everything changed when the salt dome near Beaumont known
as Spindletop began to gush crude oil. From the turn of the century to the end
of World War II, Texas was rarely out of the limelight. During the 1930s, the
massive East Texas Field had so altered the business that a barrel of crude could
be purchased for the price of a cup of coffee.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/. Accessed September 2, 2015.