In this sweeping, unabashed history of oil, Matthieu Auzanneau takes a fresh, thought-provoking look at the way oil interests have commandeered politics and economies, changed cultures, disrupted power balances across the globe, and spawned wars. He upends commonly held assumptions about key political and financial events of the past 150 years, and he sheds light on what our oil-constrained and eventually post-oil future might look like.
Oil, Power, and War follows the oil industry from its heyday when the first oil wells were drilled to the quest for new sources as old ones dried up. It traces the rise of the Seven Sisters and other oil cartels and exposes oil’s key role in the crises that have shaped our times: two world wars, the Cold War, the Great Depression, Bretton Woods, the 2008 financial crash, oil shocks, wars in the Middle East, the race for Africa’s oil riches, and more. And it defines the oil-born trends shaping our current moment, such as the jockeying for access to Russia’s vast oil resources, the search for extreme substitutes for declining conventional oil, the rise of terrorism, and the changing nature of economic growth.
We meet a long line of characters from John D. Rockefeller to Dick Cheney and Rex Tillerson, and hear lesser-known stories like how New York City taxes were once funneled directly to banks run by oil barons. We see how oil and power, once they became inextricably linked, drove actions of major figures like Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, Hitler, Kissinger, and the Bushes. We also learn the fascinating backstory sparked by lesser-known but key personalities such as Calouste Gulbenkian, Abdullah al-Tariki, and Marion King Hubbert, the once-silenced oil industry expert who warned his colleagues that oil production was facing its peak.
Oil, Power, and War is a story of the dreams and hubris that spawned an era of economic chaos, climate change, war, and terrorismas well as an eloquent framing from which to consider our options as our primary source of power, in many ways irreplacable, grows ever more constrained.
The book has been translated from the highly acclaimed French title, Or Noir.
|Publisher:||Chelsea Green Publishing|
|Edition description:||8-page color insert|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 2.10(d)|
About the Author
Matthieu Auzanneau is the director of The Shift Project, a European think tank focusing on energy transition and the resources required to make the shift to an economy free from fossil fuel dependence, and also from greenhouse gas emissions. Previously he was a journalist, based in France, and mostly writing for Le Monde. He continues to write his Le Monde blog, Oil Man, which he describes as “a chronicle of the beginning of the end of petroleum.” The original French edition of this book, Or Noir: La grande histoire du pétrole, was awarded the Special Prize of the French Association of Energy Economists in 2016.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Germination… to 1945
1 A Seed Is Planted 9
2 John D. Rockefeller, the Power of Petroleum, and the Spiral of Expansion 24
3 Sharing the World Market: The First Attempts, at the Cradle of Royal Dutch Shell 45
4 The Automobile: American Oil Regenerates Capitalism 65
5 The Tank: American Oil Feeds the Victorious Fighting Machines of the Great War 81
6 The Roaring 1920s: Consolidating the New Empires 94
7 Birth of a Petrol-Nation: Iraq 109
8 The Majors Band Together: A Secretly Planned Industry Weathers the Great Depression Unscathed 121
9 The Persistent Alliance of Big Oil with Nazi Germany 139
10 The Enablers of the Second World War 153
Part 2 Spring 1945-1970
11 After Yalta: The United States and Saudi Arabia Seal Their Alliance 175
12 Washington Gives Absolute Power to American Petroleum 192
13 Big Oil's Planetary Empire and the Rockefellers' Hegemonic Ambitions 213
14 Big Oil Asserts Itself: A Matrix of Political Power in Washington 232
15 Saudi Arabia and Gabon: Nations Spoiled by Oil 252
16 Cartel Against Cartel: OPEC's Painful Emergence 269
17 The Leapfrog Effect: Algeria, Biafra, and Libya 281
18 The Golden Childhood of the Oil-Made Man 294
Part 3 Summer 1970-1998
19 OPEC: Scapegoat for a 1973 Oil Crisis Made in the United States? 319
20 Oil Money: After Neocolonialism, a Perilous Symbiosis 338
21 The Second Oil Crisis: A Deadly Vortex of Power Is Unleashed Around the Persian Gulf 364
22 The Long Iran-Iraq War: A Lose-Lose Game Orchestrated by the Reagan Administration? 377
23 The Oil Countershock: The Frenzy of the Reagan Years, the Collapse of the USSR, and the BCCI Scandal 389
24 Dear Saddam: The Gulf War, the Fate of the Iraqi People, and the Long-Term Interests of Uncle Sam 412
25 Planetary Harvest: The Time of Scandals 428
26 Grandeur and Decadence: The Explosion of Opulence, Misery, and the Human Footprint 445
Part 4 Autumn 1998-20??
27 Oil's Future Decline Is Announced: The Persian Gulf Returns to the Center of the Chessboard 467
28 September II, 2001: A Rogue Pearl Harbor 480
29 Shocks and Ruptures: The Occupation of Iraq and Crisis of 2008 496
30 Winter, Tomorrow? 516
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Oil, Power and War is probably going to be the new definitive history of Oil. I wouldn't say it replaces Daniel Yergin's The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power, a Pulitzer Prize winner but it certainly builds upon Yergin's book with some modifications. For example, Yergin's book talks about the story of Oil till only 1980 and even then only from the perspective of those who were winners in this game. Matthieu Auzanneau's book continues the story up to most recent times and how Oil has been influential in shaping the political and economic environment. Make no mistake even at 600 pages, shorter than Yergin's book at 900 pages it is still full of facts, and who's who and timelines that the reader is better advised to keep track of as he or she moves from page to page. The plethora of characters resembles that of some russian literature say Anna Karenina but if you really read it without extended breaks I am sure you can keep track of them. The chapters are broken down in short topics that keeps it interesting. Needless to say the book takes you all the way from origin of Oil at organic level to its uses and how it has, it is and will probably continue shaping our world's political, cultural, social, industrial and military situation. The oil dubbed Black Gold indeed has been a single most vital natural resource surpassing King Coal to give us the world we inhibit now. It would be hard to find a single entity, a single object that does not have finger prints of petroleum in its origin. Overall, this book I think is an extension of it's predecessor The Prize and definitely adds way more information on the current situation as it relates to Oil. With that being said if you are deciding to pick up a definitive book on the biography of Oil and its influence, I would recommend you pick up this new book Oil, Power and War as it is most current on the subject.