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Blood of the Earth: The Battle for the World's Vanishing Oil Resources
China is now the world's second largest energy consumer, trailing only behind America. And India has moved up into the fourth place behind Russia, after overtaking Japan in 2001. Dramatically changing the geopolitics of oil in the new century, China and India are rapidly expanding their navies as they become increasingly dependent on lines of oil tankers from the Middle Ea ...more
Paperback, 403 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Nation Books
(first published November 30th 2006)
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This book reads a bit like a textbook, but it was a good overview of the history of oil exploration and use and the geopolitics of oil. In telling this story, Hiro reminds us of the omnipresent and overwhelming importance of oil and gas in our modern society (particularly in the US and Europe, and now increasingly in China) and of the need to wean ourselves off of it - both for the health of our planet and the sustainability of our society.
This is a very informative book. If I reference the book again, the way I think I will, the star rating will move to a 4. I think it was well researched and presented; worth the read if you can get though the density of dates and names that sometimes feel thrown at you. I am glad I read this book and would be interested to see an updated history of the 10 years since this book was published.
This book by Dilip Hiro, though now definitely dated, is a phenomenal exposition not only of the history of oil as a commodity, but also hydrocarbons more generally, along with the accompanying geopolitics in all their convoluted minutiae. This work manages to explain how Middle Eastern geopolitics have been shaped by oil, how OPEC's creation shaped the 20th century and empowered previously helpless nations, and how the United States has constantly been at the forefront in undermining any accord ...more
Sep 12, 2009 Sophie rated it really liked it
A lot more interesting than I was expecting. Dilip starts with a history lesson on the beginnings of oil, and moves in to how oil has been vital to political history, particularly since WWI. I found this section the most fascinating, because it looked at world events from a perspective that was completely new to me. As the time line approaches the new millennium, the energy crisis and alternative energy sources are discussed. (It's a pretty depressing 150 pages.) Definitely read it before the ed ...more
This is fine journalism, kind of like a long, unpolished piece from the Christian Science Monitor. At times, one does hope for a little more flair, but Hiro does manage to give a competent run-down on the geo-political history of oil and the massive shitstorm we face on the horizon.