Kyle Conway



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In the 1950s, North Dakota experienced its first oil boom in the Williston Basin, on the western side of the state. The region experienced unprecedented social and economic changes, which were carefully documented in a 1958 report by four researchers at the University of North Dakota. Since then, western North Dakota has undergone two more booms, the most recent from 2008 to 2014. Sixty Years of Boom and Bust republishes the 1958 report and updates its analysis by describing the impact of the latest boom on the region’s physical geography, politics, economics, and social structure.

Sixty Years of Boom and Bust addresses topics as relevant today as they were in 1958: the natural and built environment, politics and policy, crime, intergroup relations, and access to housing and medical services. In addition to making hard-to-find material readily available, it examines an area shaped by resource booms and busts over the course of six decades. As a result, it provides unprecedented insight into the patterns of develop- ment and the roots of the challenges the region has faced.

Kyle Conway is an associate professor of communication at the University of Ottawa.





Publication Date


Geographic Subjects

Williams County (N.D.)--Economic conditions; Mountrail County (N.D.)--Economic conditions; North Dakota--Economic conditions; North Dakota--Social conditions; Bakken Formation


The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota


Grand Forks, ND


Petroleum industry and trade--Economic aspects--North Dakota ; Petroleum industry and trade--Social aspects--North Dakota ; Oil fields--North Dakota ; Business cycles--North Dakota ; Hydraulic fracturing--Environmental aspects

Personal Subjects

Conway, Kyle, 1977-; Caraher, William R. (William Rodney), 1972-

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Sixty Years of Boom and Bust: The Impact of Oil in North Dakota, 1958-2018