Books That Inspire 2007

Oklahoma: Foot-Loose and Fancy-Free
Angie Debo

When I first moved to Oklahoma, I heard the story of Angie Debo, a prolific historian who was shut out of academic life as a professor because the field of history was closed to women. I read many of her books, but Oklahoma: Foot-Loose and Fancy-Free is especially dear to me because of its examination of many features of Oklahoma life. It is a book that surveys the many cultures and peoples of the state, and it proved to be a wonderful introduction to my new home. In a chapter called "The Land We Know," Debo takes up the subjects of geo-graphy, weather, and finally, Oklahomans:

Oklahoma also has people. They have been greatly written about these later years, and they have developed an abnormal sensitiveness to public opinion. For they are not Wild West characters nor Joads, but people. And yet they do have traits that set them apart from their fellow Americans. There is a distinctive Oklahoma character-partly the product of physical environment, but even more the result of a peculiar history (13-14).

Susan L Kates
Associate Professor