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Oil, Power, and War: A Dark History

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  19 reviews
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 o ...more
ebook, 672 pages
Published November 6th 2018 by Chelsea Green Publishing Company (first published March 19th 2015)
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Bimal Patel
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Anton Autushka
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bottom line: the global war for dwindling energy resources is here and we’ll see more and more of it in the future. Syria, Libya, Iraq, Ukraine — it’s all ultimately about energy security and attempts to preserve the accustomed way of life, the life of consumption and unprecedented prosperity. But in the end, you can’t fool geology. In my lifetime, will I see the Euro-American coalition invading my neighboring Russia, as did Napoleon and Hitler before, while in the process again nearly destroyin ...more
Hugh Owens
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
atthieu Auzanneau has written the definitive history of oil, far eclipsing the authors who preceded him, notably Daniel Yergin who wrote THE PRIZE in 1991. Yergin's book, now very dated covers similar ground up to about 1990. Yergin's book emphasizes the importance and positive aspects of the rise of and importance of the oil industry in transforming the industrial civilization and he is even today a consultant to the world's oil production titans. He is often portrayed as the authoritative voic ...more
Ryan
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: environment
A well researched and comprehensive coverage of the history of our affair with the master resource. The tale of oil is inextricably intertwined with the story of the 20th century when we look back at it, as it saw the spring, summer and autumn of oil production and usage. The discovery of black gold massively transformed the trajectory of our species resulting in the explosion of human population and economy until it threatens to smother all else on this finite Earth during the current century. ...more
Florent_A
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Livre intéressant qui nous eclaire en détails sur l'histoire du pétrole et celle des pays qui l'exploitent (en premier lieu les US et la standard oil de Rockefeller). Beaucoup de raisons géopolitiques liées à l'or noir expliquent les événements majeurs du 20 et 21eme siècle (seconde guerre mondiale, guerre froide, guerre du golfe, irak, crises petrolieres, grande depression, crise des subprimes, montee du terrorisme, conflit israelo palestinien..) avec ses obscures manigances, le rôle de la CIA, ...more
Fred
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nous pensons tout savoir de l'importance du pétrole dans nos vies n'est ce pas ? Attendez de lire ce monument dédié à l'histoire du pétrole. J'ai appris et surtout compris tellement de choses en lisant ce livre. Hitler faisant la meme erreur que Napoléon en ouvrant le front de l'est ? Erreur Stratégique absurde ? nah .. il avait un besoin vital du pétrole de Bakou. Nixon qui décide d'indexer les capacités de la banque centrale à émettre de la monnaie non plus adossées aux réserves d'or de l'Amér ...more
Keane Gleeson
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great detailed dive into the inter workings of oil embedded in geopolitical struggle. Reading this book makes me feel ashamed to be an American after learning of the history of the US’s meddling in other countries for the end goal of claiming a stake in hydrocarbons. It was interesting to learn more about Britain, Netherlands, and France’s history in fighting to keep control of oil reserves. I had read the Prize by Daniel Yergin, and this book exceeds the story told in that book. This was a very ...more
Andrew Liu
I mainly read the last chapter because I was interested in how real and urgent peak oil (the beginning of the decline in oil production) would be, with implications for when I and society would need to make our lives less dependent on oil. The chapter provides an interesting history of oil production numbers, broken down by country as well as type (e.g. conventional, fracking), but as expected, it is hard to predict when peak oil will occur.
Monika Landy-Gyebnar
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was an absolutely amazing book about the probably most serious issue of humanity ever. After reading it I could understand the point of view of some conspiracy theories - although this book contains only real data (I have checked several of them), and this is what makes it scary. All of the background infos were well put together to form a complete view of how power works, every little bit fit into its place well. I made me understand a lot of things I have lived through in my young years, I ...more
Cristie Underwood
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Wow! That is the only way to describe this book. The author covered the effects of the oil industry on everything, including politics, economies, climate change, and war, amongst other things. I never considered how much oil controls our everyday life. The author presented this information in an easy to follow manner that was interesting to read.
James
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As someone who works within the oil and gas industry, reading this book was a real eye opener. I had some knowledge of the kind of political strive that oil has played within modern politics, but I had no idea how far it really went. If it's just history or middle Eastern or Western politics you're interested in, this book will satisfy all of those. ...more
Jeffrey Cavanaugh
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Although not as impressive a piece of straightforward history as Yergin’s masterpieces ‘The Prize’ and ‘The Quest’, the book is nonetheless an important contribution that draws attention to the seamy, corrupt underside of the global oil economy.
Florent Marrou
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finalement une bonne explication de l'ensemble de l'histoire de cette industrie ! ...more
Grace
Dec 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting perspective on links between oil and war, but the book was way too long, and some parts could have been condensed significantly
Jeffrey Belt
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite being massive and a bit tedious at times, this is a telling account of how oil is an irresistible (although finite) energy source and how a handful of US companies very deliberately and sometimes deceitfully hooked what are now the most "developed" countries on the product. ...more
Jonathan Brugiere
Un livre absolument excellent qui offre au lecteur toutes les clés pour comprendre la géopolitique mondiale actuelle. A sa lecture, on se rend compte que depuis les premieres découvertes, le pétrole s’est imposé comme la ressource la plus stratégique et la plus convoitée qui soit, pour le meilleur et pour le pire.
Jean-Pascal
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un livre passionnant et angoissant à la fois. On apprend beaucoup sans que jamais le ton ne se fasse didactique. On aurait plutôt envie d'approfondir certains chapitres et de dépasser le ton parfois journalistique qui préside, en particulier, aux exposés des liens entre politiques et affairistes. ...more
Jeanne Martin
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essais
Première partie un peu aride. Ca devient passionnant à partir de l'après-guerre. Très instructif bien sûr. ...more
J.W.
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Jul 15, 2019
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Aug 01, 2019
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