Bibliography and Further Reading

Mapping provides insight into oil’s geographic expansion, socioeconomic impact, and ecological consequences. However these maps cannot convey the array of personal experiences working and living in and around the oil fields.  See below for oil personnel’s individual stories, in their own words.

Digitized sound recordings of Texas oil industry oral histories, Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas, Austin, Texas.


Published Histories

  • Boatright, Mody C. and William A. Owens, Tales from the Derrick Floor: A People’s History of the Oil Industry (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982).
  • Weaver, Bobby, Oilfield Trash: Life and Labor in the Oil Patch (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2010).
  • Lambert , Paul, F., Voices from the Oil Fields (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984).
  • Lynch Gerald, Roughnecks Drillers, and Tool Pushers (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1991).


It is important to acknowledge the oil industry’s dark side. There is a growing body of literature describing the impact of oil industrialization on adjacent — often nonwhite — communities. Lack of regulation and intention to oil’s environment impact resulted in increased cancer rates, reproductive and nervous system disorders, and respiratory maladies. Most of these works recount stories of community activism and resilience in the face of corporate indifference and systemic poverty.

  • Steve Early, Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City (Boston: Beacon Press, 2017).


Map Sources

Unless otherwise noted all data sets were transcribed from archival documents, digitized, and mapped by the author. Below is a list of archival collections used.




** I have received no compensation for endorsing the above titles. All opinions are my own.**

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