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Sam Anderson's "Boom Town" Makes The Case For OKC

Book Cover - Boom Town

Sam Anderson is an award-winning staff writer for The New York Times Magazine - formerly a book critic for the same. He lives in Beacon, New York. His first book, “Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, its Chaotic Founding... its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-class Metropolis” was released this summer.

“Boom Town” hops around the fascinating story of Oklahoma’s capital city, which is like zooming in on a sped up story of America with everything that entails: dream attainment and major success for some; land ownership; enormous civic pride perhaps only outmatched by civic confusion; power-struggles; architecture that goes up too fast; solid and stately buildings that get knocked down too soon in the name of progress; the unfortunate truths that generate the necessity for an inspiring civil rights movement; extreme weather, sports, rock and roll, and terror.

Oklahoma City also boasts more than a few events that could safely be called uniquely its own, with one example being: Operation Bongo. In 1964, the Federal Aviation Administration used various aircraft to generate sonic booms over OKC to test their effect on structures and public attitude. The public attitude was, largely: “Quit it with the sonic booms.”

Anderson was sent to OKC by The New York Times Magazine to write a splashy feature on the city's NBA team, The Thunder. Luckily for readers, he made a major connection to the place and with the people who live there.

Sarah has been a public radio producer for over fifteen years. She grew up in Saranac Lake, New York where she worked part-time at Pendragon Theatre all through high school and college. She graduated from UAlbany in 2006 with a BA in English and started at WAMC a few weeks later as a part-time board-op in the control room. Through a series of offered and seized opportunities she is now the Senior Contributing Producer of The Roundtable and Producer of The Book Show. During the main thrust of the Covid-19 pandemic shut-down, Sarah hosted a live Instagram interview program "A Face for Radio Video Series." On it, Sarah spoke with actors, musicians, comedians, and artists about the creative activities they were accomplishing and/or missing.
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