Claytie: The Roller-Coaster Life of a Texas Wildcatter available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
- Texas A&M University Press
The native son of a distinguished West Texas family and a 1954 graduate of Texas A&M whose career and personal pursuits have ranged from farmer to insurance salesman to wildcatter, pipeline entrepreneur, rancher, banker, real estate mogul, big game hunter, conservationist, philanthropist, front-running gubernatorial candidate, and oil tycoon, Clayton W. Williams Jr. is by all measures one of a kind.
He has repeatedly been on the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, yet more than once Claytie has also been on the verge of bankruptcy. This authorized biography captures the dimensions of his fascinating life: his determined work ethic and honesty; his passionate interests and rough-hewn style; his devotion to wife and constant companion Modesta and family; his all-in wildcatter bets and integrity-above-all payoff of debts; his patented gaffes in the “wildest, woolliest Texas governor’s race ever” and their spotlighted consequences for the state and nation; and running through it all, both unrestrained celebrations and knees-on-the-ground repentance.
His many notable successes, his most admirable traits, as well as his most outrageous flaws are all portrayed in this book, often in Claytie’s own words or in the extensive comments, revealing anecdotes, and first-person accounts of others, supplemented by family and business documents, as well as contemporary journalistic records.
This book tells it all, revealing one distinctive maverick who has left his boot prints all across Texas for 75 years.
|Publisher:||Texas A&M University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)|
About the Author
MIKE COCHRAN has covered many memorable news stories in Texas, often with the Associated Press, during the past four decades, such as the JFK assassination, the U.S. space program, and most statewide political campaigns, and he has earned several journalistic awards in the process. He is the author of three previous books.
What People are Saying About This
There is a forthrightness to this book that reflects Claytie's own basic honesty, his inimitable combination of straight talk, braggadocio, combativeness, and poking fun at himself. (Dave McNeely, author and dean of Texas political reporters)
Most recall West Texan ‘Claytie' Williams Jr. as the candidate who, in losing the 1990 gubernatorial race to Ann Richards, shot himself in the foot more times than a centipede with a machine gun. But Mike Cochran's biography of the colorful oilfield wildcatter, rancher, banker, born entrepreneura page-turner reading more like an adventure novelintroduces the philanthropist, loyal friend, honest and sometimes soft-hearted side of the bar-room brawling, hard-drinking, plain-cussing, fanatical Texas Aggie who has been a near-billionaire and also on the verge of bankruptcy in the boom-or-bust oilpatch. Claytie's life might be a movieexcept I think it was shot in the 1950s as Giant with James Dean playing the Claytie Williams role, though they called him Jett Rink. A good read, for Texans or others. (Larry L. King, author of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas)
Clayton Williams lives life on a grand scale in this fast-moving, readable biography. Anyone interested in Texas history, petroleum history, or political history should enjoy this book. (Joseph A. Pratt, Cullen Chair of History and Business, University of Houston)
Clayton Williams' passion for making friends, making money, and making music is legendary. I've always admired Clayton. He's a genuine Americanas tough as a boot but with a heart as big as Texas.
In Mike Cochran's perfect-pitch account of the quintessential Texas wildcatter, the colorful life and multiple personae of Claytie Williams stand out for their true grit and integrity. This is an extraordinary biography. (Davis Ford, adjunct professor of engineering, University of Texas, and past president of the Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University)
Claytie is quite the colorful man whose personality is bigger than the Permian Basin he hails from. George and I are both friends and fans of his.
Claytie Williams is a living symbol of the mythical larger-than-life Texan, sometimes down but never out, willing to back his judgment on a Hail Mary pass, win, lose, or draw. He is one of the most affable people I have ever met.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
THE BOOK WAS EXCITING AND THRILLING. IT REALLY CHANGED MY PERSPECTIVE ON CLAYTON WILLIAMS SINCE HIM BEING AN OILMAN I THOUGHT HE WOULD BE A THE TYPE OF OILMEN THAT ARE TALKED BADLY BY THE ROUGHNECKS OR THE WAY THE MOVIES SET THEM UP TO BE. THE BOOK WAS GOOD THEN JUST LIKE THE END OF ECONOMIC BOOM WHEN IT REACHES ITS PEAK IT SLIDES DOWN INTO A BUST IN THE LAST SECTION CALLED NEW MILLENNIUM BECAUSE ALL THE AUTHOR DOES IS FLATTER OR MAKE CLAYTON LOOK LIKE THE BEST GENTLEMAN THAT EVER EXISTED AND TO ME THAT IS NONSENSE GET TO THE POINT AND DONT KISS THE STEPS HE WALKS ON.
I couldn't put it down! Mike Cochran captured this gentleman in great style. It was so enjoyable to read. Claytie seems to be one of the last of a breed of American's who built this country. I learned from his success and his failures that it is far more shameful to not try than it is to not succeed. Claytie has failed to succeed on a grand scale, but he keeps on coming back. There is a giant lesson to be learned from this trait.