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Thread: Books on the history of oil

  1. #1
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    Aug 2012

    Books on the history of oil

    I'm looking for some recommendations for books on the history of oil over the last 200 years. Including foreign intrrventions (installing new governments, providing military support to foreign governments, etc.).

    I'm trying to get a better understanding of the role that oil has, and continues, to play in world politics, economies and wars. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Aug 2012
    Have any of you read Daniel Yergin's 'The Prize'?

  3. #3
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Reading, England
    Quote Originally Posted by llall View Post
    Have any of you read Daniel Yergin's 'The Prize'?
    I have not read The Prize, but I want to. It is supposed to be excellent. One thing that puts me off is that it is very thick.

    I read another book called The Squeeze by Tom Bower. It deals with the oil industry in the last two decades. From what I gather it is not entirely accurate and a bit patchy. For instance, it discusses the main independent oil companies: Exxon-Mobil, BP, Shell, etc; and it also discusses the oil industry in Russia, but it hardly mentions any of the national oil companies in the OPEC countries. Nevertheless, it was a good book. The author postulates that the price of oil was not so much due to production limitations as to price manipulation by speculators. I had previously just read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carré. The Squeeze made Tinker, Tailor seem like The Cat in the Hat.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  4. #4
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Within the winds
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    I have not yet read the book myself but the book Oil! by Upton Sinclair comes to mind

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  5. #5
    Registered User ralfyman's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Several more are given here:

    Also, look up "peak oil".

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