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Deemed "the best history of oil ever written" by Business Week and with more than 300,000 copies in print, Daniel Yergin’s Pulitzer Prize–winning account of the global pursuit of oil, money, and power has been extensively updated to address the current energy crisis.

Topics: Economy, Wealth, The Middle East, Politics, Capitalism, War, American Foreign Policy, and Informative

Published: Free Press on
ISBN: 9781439134832
List price: $18.99
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In today's world, you have to understand the history of oil. This book reads like a novel. You can't put it down -- and it provides an important background to all energy discussions today.more
Astonishing history of oil - the substance which drives the modern world economy. How it affects wars, economies, society, how nations rise and fall and fortunes are made and lost. A fundamental book for understanding a large portion of modern society.more
As has been said for two decades now, it reads like a biography. Of a buccaneer. With historical and economic context and the development of technology adding to the excitement. It helps that so many of these oil men were so eccentric. Who knew that J Paul Getty would make Howard Hughes appear conventional?I've read a fair amount about Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Shah's reign, etc., yet reading the history again thru the oil politics lens made me see it all differently. Who knew that the Saudis were so reasonable (and the Shah and Mossadegh so comparatively dense)? During the heights of OPEC's power, the Saudis (well, mostly one Western-educated envoy) always understood that jacking up prices so high could disrupt the consuming industrialized countries' economies with disastrous blowback on the suppliers.Mine is the early 1990s' edition; is the 2008 edition an update or reissue? Because this is a cliff-hanger.more
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Reviews

In today's world, you have to understand the history of oil. This book reads like a novel. You can't put it down -- and it provides an important background to all energy discussions today.more
Astonishing history of oil - the substance which drives the modern world economy. How it affects wars, economies, society, how nations rise and fall and fortunes are made and lost. A fundamental book for understanding a large portion of modern society.more
As has been said for two decades now, it reads like a biography. Of a buccaneer. With historical and economic context and the development of technology adding to the excitement. It helps that so many of these oil men were so eccentric. Who knew that J Paul Getty would make Howard Hughes appear conventional?I've read a fair amount about Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Shah's reign, etc., yet reading the history again thru the oil politics lens made me see it all differently. Who knew that the Saudis were so reasonable (and the Shah and Mossadegh so comparatively dense)? During the heights of OPEC's power, the Saudis (well, mostly one Western-educated envoy) always understood that jacking up prices so high could disrupt the consuming industrialized countries' economies with disastrous blowback on the suppliers.Mine is the early 1990s' edition; is the 2008 edition an update or reissue? Because this is a cliff-hanger.more
Great history of the oil business. For the first time I understand the full impact of oil on modern society; and I understand the full impact of forces of modern capitalism - the power, the innovation and drive to succeed, the short-sightedness and the capacity for blind panic. Great read.more
Yergin has amassed a great collection of facts and brought them together well into a story which is a quick and interesting read. Definitely required reading to learn about the industry and the unique resource that drives it.There are several problems with the book however. The first and most glaring is Yergin's proselytizing mission for neoliberalism. Everything neoliberal is good and everything else is denounced as bad. Neoliberal theories are applied as law throughout the book.There is a gap in coverage of Soviet enterprises throughout the cold war. The typical work around for Yergin is to ignore that sector of the world with a description of what was going on in the "free world" instead.Finally, the book also misses the importance of King Hubbert's work on peak oil. Given that oil was already well understood and resources well characterized at the time of publication, this is an oversight.Still, despite the drawbacks, this is an important and recommended work.more
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