Kyle Conway, editor, Sixty Years of Boom and Bust: The Impact of Oil in North Dakota, 1958-2018. Grand Forks, ND: The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota 2020.
In the 1950s, North Dakota experienced its first oil boom in the Williston Basin, on the western side of the state. The region experienced unprecedented social and economic changes, which were carefully documented in a 1958 report by four researchers at the University of North Dakota. Since then, western North Dakota has undergone two more booms, the most recent from 2008 to 2014. Sixty Years of Boom and Bust republishes the 1958 report and updates its analysis by describing the impact of the latest boom on the region’s physical geography, politics, economics, and social structure.
Sixty Years of Boom and Bust addresses topics as relevant today as they were in 1958: the natural and built environment, politics and policy, crime, intergroup relations, and access to housing and medical services. In addition to making hard-to-find material readily available, it examines an area shaped by resource booms and busts over the course of six decades. As a result, it provides unprecedented insight into the patterns of develop- ment and the roots of the challenges the region has faced.
Kyle Conway is an associate professor of communication at the University of Ottawa.
If you’re interested in this book, you should also check out Kyle Conway and William Caraher, eds., The Bakken Goes Boom: Oil and the Changing Geographies of Western North Dakota (2016). You can download it here or buy it here from Amazon or here from a small bookshop.
For more on the role of the oil industry in contemporary culture, check out our expanded version of The Beast: Making a Living on a Dying Planet by Nicole Burton and Hugh Goldring and edited by Patrick McCurdy.