The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

even conflict between the United States and other nations. The di-
lemma arises from the recognition of the dimensions of the Mexican
population problem in the light of the capacity of that nation's econo-
my to absorb the numbers who are and will be entering the work force
and the impossibility of maintaining the American standard of life in
the face of the pressures that will inevitably result from the Mexican
demographic patterns.
The dilemma is one of which the readers of this book will become
conscious and which, along with the pressures of special interests and
the lack of sufficient knowledge of the phenomenon, will continue to
haunt our efforts to reexamine our national immigration policy.
University of Texas, Austin STANLEY R. Ross
Wildcatter: The Story of Michel T. Halbouty and the Search for Oil.
By Jack Donahue. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company,
1979. Pp. 268. Index. $10.95.)
The career of Michel T. Halbouty has many more facets than that
of most Texas oilmen. Since his entrance into the profession in 1931,
he has been concurrently a wildcatter, petroleum scholar, historian,
conscience of the industry, and sagacious seer. His contributions amply
warrant a biography, and Jack Donahue's work calls attention to Hal-
bouty's significant achievements. Born in Beaumont of immigrant
Lebanese parents (the author does not say when), Halbouty went to
high school there, working in the Spindletop oil field in the 192os. He
took B.S. and M.S. degrees (1930 and 1931) at Texas A&M University
in geology and petroleum engineering (the book is unclear on which
degree was for which subject, although it was apparently in that se-
quence). From the beginning of his work in the oilfields, Halbouty
effectively applied his educational training to the practical task of find-
ing oil. In the process, he drilled his share of dry holes, but he made
even more notable discoveries that produced his fortune. Although
like the true wildcatter he would often exhaust his accumulated wealth
in a series of dusters, unlike his early partner, Glenn McCarthy, he
ended up well on the credit side of the ledger.
Several aspects of Halbouty's career differentiated him from others
of his tribe. The essential difference between Halbouty and the others,
such as C. M. "Dad" Joiner and McCarthy, resulted from his academic
training. His intimate understanding of geology enabled him to use

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101225/. Accessed August 27, 2014.