Smarty Pants Podcast

Weirdo Capital of the West

The fantastical saga of Oklahoma City

By Stephanie Bastek | September 14, 2018
The Oklahoma Land Rush, April 22, 1889 by John Steuart Curry (Wikimedia Commons)
The Oklahoma Land Rush, April 22, 1889 by John Steuart Curry (Wikimedia Commons)

How much do you know about Oklahoma City? Probably you know about the bombing, the Dust Bowl, and the Trail of Tears. Maybe, if you’re a basketball fan, you know about the drama of their basketball team, the Thunder. A feeble history, then, of a flyover city in the public imagination. Sam Anderson wants to change all that. As a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, he was sent off to O.K.C. a few years ago to write about a stolen basketball team, and fell so hard for what he calls “one of the great weirdo cities of the world” that he wrote a whole book about it.

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