The Great Oklahoma Swindle: Race, Religion, and Lies in Americas Weirdest State Audiobook, by Russell Cobb Play Audiobook Sample

The Great Oklahoma Swindle: Race, Religion, and Lies in America's Weirdest State Audiobook

The Great Oklahoma Swindle: Race, Religion, and Lies in Americas Weirdest State Audiobook, by Russell Cobb Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Lloyd James Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 6.50 hours at 1.5x Speed 4.88 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: February 2023 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9798212173049

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

58:10 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

04:24 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

29:00 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Publisher Description

Look down as you buzz across America, and Oklahoma looks like another “flyover state.” A closer inspection, however, reveals one of the most tragic, fascinating, and unpredictable places in the United States

Over the span of a century, Oklahoma gave birth to movements for an African American homeland, a vibrant Socialist Party, armed rebellions of radical farmers, and an insurrection by a man called Crazy Snake. In the same era, the state saw numerous oil booms, one of which transformed the small town of Tulsa into the “oil capital of the world.”

Add to the chaos one of the nation’s worst episodes of racial violence, a statewide takeover by the Ku Klux Klan, and the rise of a paranoid far-right agenda by a fundamentalist preacher named Billy James Hargis and you have the recipe for America’s most paradoxical state.

Far from being a placid place in the heart of “flyover country,” Oklahoma has been a laboratory for all kinds of social, political, and artistic movements, producing a singular list of weirdos, geniuses, and villains.

In this book, Russell Cobb tells the story of a state rich in natural resources and artistic talent, yet near the bottom in education and social welfare. Raised in Tulsa, Cobb engages Oklahomans across the boundaries of race and class to hear their troubles, anxieties, and aspirations and delves deep to understand their contradictory and often stridently independent attitudes.

Interweaving memoir, social commentary, and sometimes surprising research around the themes of race, religion, and politics, Cobb presents an insightful portrait that will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about the American Heartland.

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“Cobb has all the gifts of a storyteller, a journalist, an ethicist, and an anthropologist. The substance of the book is modern tragedy, but the sense of the book is the joy of heartfelt inquiry and analysis.”

— Rivka Galchen, author of Little Labors 


  • “A native of Oklahoma, Russell Cobb…reveals his love of the state, with a critical analysis.”

    — Roundup Magazine
  • “The Great Oklahoma Swindle shows that Oklahoma’s story is all-American in a compressed timeline. That Cobb stands toe to toe with his state and never blinks makes this project a compelling read.”

    — Foreword Reviews

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About Russell Cobb

Russell Cobb is an associate professor in Latin American studies and creative writing at the University of Alberta. His nonfiction writing has won many national and regional awards. He is the editor of The Paradox of Authenticity in a Globalized World and the reporter for This American Life story that served as the basis for the Netflix film Come Sunday. His journalism has appeared in the New York Times, the London Guardian, Slate, and the Nation, and on NPR. 

About Lloyd James

Lloyd James (a.k.a. Sean Pratt) has been narrating since 1996 and has recorded over six hundred audiobooks. He is a seven-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award and has twice been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award. His critically acclaimed performances include Elvis in the Morning by William F. Buckley Jr. and Searching for Bobby Fischer by Fred Waitzkin, among others.