Friday, July 27, 2012

The Golden Lane, by Sam Pfiester

Kudos to Mr. Pfiester for an excellent book, one I could not put down.    Written in the Simon Schama -style of fictionalized history texts, "The Golden Lane" tells the story of the identification of a highly productive range of oil wells (near Tampico, Mexico) in the early 20th century. 

He does this by focusing on Everette DeGolyer's work for El Aguila (oil company).   Because this is a history, and not a fiction, the character development is really the additional and immensely interesting biographical discussion of key players in both the oil arena and Mexican politics of the time.

DeGolyer became a big time player in the oil business, and his spouse, Nell DeGolyer, was a founding member of both Dallas Planned Parenthood and the Dallas League of Women Voters; the DeGolyer home is the site of the Dallas Arboretum.

If you're interested in Mexican history and particularly its politics, or in the oil business's start off the Gulf of Mexico, this book's for you.

If, on the other hand, you have no interest in such things, but do enjoy a fast paced and well written novel, then this book's for you as well.

That's a unusual coupling, but this is an unusually good book.    One peeve though:  Mr. Pfiester should have included a couple of good maps of the region to put it into perspective for those not so familiar with Mexican or Gulf geography.

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