The oil industry has had a major impact on Texas, and life in the oil fields has greatly influenced the social life and customs of the state. In an attempt ``to reconstruct the regular and common parts of a bygone way of life,'' the Oliens have talked to hundreds of people who lived and worked in the Texas oil fields, 1901-50. These reminiscences were then edited and divided by subject into separate chapters, with numerous recollections a few paragraphs in length, on such topics as food, housing, education, sex, and alcohol. This fragmented approach gives a good idea of how people lived in oil towns, but it lacks the sustained oral histories of individuals that make Studs Terkel's books so interesting and lively. The Oliens' presentation is more anecdotal than historical. This will be of interest to regional libraries and social history collections. Kevin M. Rosswurm, Mount Vernon P.L., N.Y.