August 6, 2018
Oklahoma History Center Welcomes “Boom Town” Author Sam Anderson for Book Signing and Interview
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma History Center is proud to welcome Sam Anderson, author of “Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding, Its Apocalyptic Weather, Its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-Class Metropolis,” for a question and answer session on Thursday, August 23, from noon to 1 p.m. Journalist Steve Lackmeyer will serve as the moderator for this session. Lackmeyer, an award-winning author, columnist and reporter in his own right, will pose questions to Anderson about what inspired him to write the book, the steps he took to research the content and about the many individuals he came into contact with during the research process. Anderson will be available after the interview to sign copies of “Boom Town” that will be made available from the Oklahoma History Center Museum Store. The public is invited and there is no charge for this event.
Anderson’s original intention was to complete an assignment given to him by his primary employer, The New York Times Magazine, to cover the city’s new basketball team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. As Anderson wandered the city’s streets, talking to its citizens and uncovering its wild history, he became convinced that Oklahoma City was unlike any other place in America—“one of the great weirdo cities of the world,” as he puts it in the book’s prologue. For example, he references the 1889 Land Run, “where thousands of people lined up along the borders of newly-opened Oklahoma Territory and rushed in at noon to stake their claims.” Pulling from deep archival research and by personally walking the miles-long path of the city’s pioneer founders, Anderson vividly depicts one of the most bizarre and abrupt beginnings of a city in history. He continues his analysis of Oklahoma history by bringing together the personal stories and perspectives of local historical figures like Clara Luper, weatherman Gary England and Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti.
New York columnist and reporter Anne Fadiman aptly describes Sam Anderson and his work by saying, “No one—no one—writes like Sam Anderson: so vividly, so stylishly, so smartly, so weirdly, so funnily. By the time I’d finished this doozy of a book, he had me asking: Oklahoma City, where have you been all my life?”
Sam Anderson is currently a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine. Formerly a book critic for The New York Magazine and regular contributor to Slate, Anderson's journalism and essays have won numerous awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. He lives in New York with his family.
For more information about this event, call 405-522-0765 or visit the Oklahoma Historical Society website at www.okhistory.org.
“Boom Town” is published and distributed by the Crown Publishing Group, a subsidiary of Random House that publishes across several categories including fiction, nonfiction, biography, autobiography and memoir, cooking, health, business and lifestyle.
The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.