Done in Oil
An Autobiography
Business History - Texas History
6 x 9, 304 pp.
29 b&w photos.
Pub Date: 06/01/2000
  paper
Price:        $22.95 s

978-0-89096-987-8

Published by Texas A&M University Press
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Done in Oil

An Autobiography

By J. Howard Marshall II
Edited by Robert L. Bradley Jr.

Few individuals have experienced as many facets of the oil industry or known as many of its important characters as J. Howard Marshall II. This autobiography details Marshall’s career, from his days as a young law student writing about the problems of the oil industry for a prestigious law review, to his oil regulation days under FDR, to his work in some of the country’s most important oil companies.

In 1931, Marshall began his career on the “outside” of the industry investigating the legality of oil proration in articles for the Yale Law Review. In 1933, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes persuaded him to go to work for the government, which was then attempting to curtail petroleum overproduction.

No longer an outsider, Marshall coauthored the Code of Fair Competition for the Oil Industry in 1933 and drafted the Connally Hot Oil Act of 1935, the California State Lands Act of 1938, the Cole Pipeline Act of 1941, and the executive order creating the National Petroleum Council in 1946. Marshall’s role as co-founder and chief counsel for the Petroleum Administration for War (PAW) in the early 1940s proved pivotal to coordinating the industry during wartime.

After World War II, Marshall worked for various oil-industry corporations. His list of associations and directorships demonstrates his long-term dedication to the industry.

Marshall’s entertaining and detailed memories bring to life many of the most famous public and private characters of oil history. Unlike any work before it, Done in Oil recounts the history of the oil industry from the perspective of an individual who has known it, quite literally, inside-out, both as practitioner and as analyst. From the curious to the student of oil, business, and government history, readers will come away from this book having learned something new and significant about the oil industry and its culture.

Robert L. Bradley, Jr., who edited Marshall’s manuscript story of his life, is president of the Institute for Energy Research, an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute, and the author of two books on the oil industry.

What Readers Are Saying:

“I have studied the oil industry for over twenty years, and I learned something new or interesting on page after page.”--Dr. Joseph A. Pratt, Cullen Professor of History and Business, University of Houston

“. . . Marshall offers important insights into the men and enterprises that dominated the American oil scene from the 1930s into the 1990s. . . . Marshall offers an anecdotal history of the industry and brings to life many of the oil moguls of the 20th century. This is an indispensable l\book for readers who want to understand the evolution of an important American industry and many of the country’s most colorful business leaders.” --Journal of the West

“. . . a sprightly, well-written autobiography, sometimes informal, sometimes profound, and always interesting. . . . The book makes a fine contribution to the history of federal and state regulation of the American petroleum industry. . . .” --Western Legal History

“This book is unique in its description of the broad sweep of federal regulation of the oil and gas industry in the 1930s and 1940s and in its inclusion of the human side, with names and incidents.” --The Federal Lawyer

“But readers looking for titillation will be disappointed. Done in Oil: An Autobiography is pretty much all business.” --Houston Chronicle

“The author’s entertaining and detailed memories bring to life many of the most famous public and private characters of oil history. Unlike many works, this book recounts the history of the oil industry from the perspective of an individual who has known it personally inside out.” --Oil & Gas Journal

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