Williston, North Dakota was a sleepy farm town for generations" until the frackers arrived. The oil companies moved into Williston, overtaking the town and setting off a boom that America hadn’t seen since the Gold Rush. Workers from all over the country descended, chasing jobs that promised them six-figure salaries and demanded no prior experience. But for every person chasing the American dream, there is a darker side" reports of violence and sexual assault skyrocketed, schools overflowed, and housing prices soared. Real estate is such a hot commodity that tent cities popped up, and many workers’ only option was to live out of their cars. Farmers whose families had tended the land for generations watched, powerless, as their fields were bulldozed to make way for one oil rig after another. Written in the vein Ted Conover and Jon Krakauer, using a mix of first-person adventure and cultural analysis, The New Wild West is the definitive account of what’s happening on the ground and what really happens to a community when the energy industry is allowed to set up in a town with little regulation or oversight" and at what cost.
Blaire Briody is an award-winning journalist who has written for The New York Times, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Fast Company, Glamour, among others. She is the author of the narrative nonfiction book, The New Wild West: Black Gold, Fracking, and Life in a North Dakota Boomtown, which was the 2016 finalist for the Lukas Work-in-Progress Award from Columbia Journalism School and Harvard’s Nieman Foundation. Briody received the Richard J. Margolis Award for social justice journalism in 2014, and she graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in international relations.
“Fascinating stories of people in pursuit of their piece of the oil boom.”
“The characters in The New Wild West are as complex and riveting as Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid.”
“Insightful, deeply reported, and at times heartbreakingly personal, Blaire Briody’s The New Wild West brings us face to face with the walking wounded of America’s domestic energy boom. It’s a must-read.”