Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Oil: Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century” as Want to Read:
Oil: Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Oil: Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  171 ratings  ·  16 reviews
With unparalleled insight into BP and its safety record leading up to the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Tom Bower gives us a groundbreaking, in-depth, and authoritative twenty-year history of the hunt and speculation for our most vital natural resource.


Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century

Twenty years ago oil cost about $7 a barrel. In 2008 the price soared t
Kindle Edition, 490 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2009)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Oil, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Oil

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  171 ratings  ·  16 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Mar 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a bit too close to home. I have worked as an oil trader for nearly 30 years in the US and Singapore. Many of the characters and sources are familiar and, in some cases, business associates. I feel compelled to admit that what drew me to this book was not the cheap bargain basement price. I learned that an old business competitor/adversary was a major source for this book (in fact, there is an entire chapter devoted him). His colleagues disclosed to me that the book infuriated him. ...more
Oil plays such an important role in our lives. Oil, money, politics and power go hand in hand. It's amazing how much we depend on oil just to live our lives daily. I can remember when gas was $.99 per gallon and now it's usually around $2.50 in the area I live in. The price has went up a great deal and there are many reasons. If you want to understand oil and how it controls so much of what we do this is the book for you. Tom gets straight the basics and then elaborates, so the book has a certai ...more
Jeffrey Bostick
Definitely worth slogging through for an insider's view of the mechanics and the politics of international oil business. Trouble is that the take is almost a little too insidery. Long stretches of the book read like personal magazine profiles of this or that CEO which would be okay if these details were more relevant. But mainly it reads almost like entertainment gossip.
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2012
Bower gets under the skin of the oil magnates, and shows their true colours. The people that run this industry are ruthless, manipulative, complicit in manipulating the market and greedy beyond belief.
Observing modern oil industry and how no single government, corporation, or OPEC can control oil markets.
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My trust in the author and editor soured when they referred to Dmitry Medvedev, with a clear photo, as "Vladimir Medvedev". Just how on Earth does anyone fuck that up, seriously?

This book is a rambling, and at times purely numerical data, history of a few massive corrupt companies with men who think they can rule the world instead of governments. So instead of currency the world is run on oil. Seems accurate.

Definetly not a light, or even engaging, read. Unless you have deep interest in the subj
David James
There's a lot of information in this one, but it's poorly arranged. What could have been an excellent examination of the people involved at the top of the oil world and the way they have impacted recent history (Bower is focused on roughly 1980 onward), is bogged down by constantly shifting timelines and narratives that leave the book difficult to follow.

It's a shame, because the stories he tells are quite dramatic and offer an illuminating look at the impact oil and those who produce it have o
Fredrick Danysh
This is an analysis of the role of the oil industry over the first part of the 21st century and the big oil companies. OPEC's role is also considered. Here, the politics and economics of big oil are discussed as they affect the world. The personalities of the major players, heads of the companies, are looked at. I thought that it was an interesting read that gave insight into why the price of oil quadrupled since the embargo of the 1970s.
Tony Limjuco
Illuminating non-fictional account so far of how the modern oil industry came about, most notably of BP's troubled rise to prominence, and just how those Russian oligarchs got quite so rich. Quite relevant reading today in light of the now capped Macondo well. I'll see how the rest unfolds.
May 06, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, non-fiction
A long slow read focused on the personalities behind large western oil companies. I was definitely hoping for more of a look at the role of China in today's oil industry, and as such was disappointed.
a great read so far!
Ahmed Uzair
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Topical and well written. Recommended.
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was very interesting. It gave a lot of insight into an industry whose necessity is so woven into the fabric of our daily lives. I look forward to the day when we can rely on clean energy.
Mar 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chapter 10 was great, really insightful on the rise of BP
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Peyton
rated it liked it
Dec 29, 2012
Christopher Mcdermott
rated it it was amazing
Dec 26, 2016
rated it really liked it
Jun 13, 2017
rated it really liked it
Jan 26, 2019
Nathan Caress
rated it liked it
Aug 23, 2011
rated it it was amazing
Nov 04, 2016
rated it liked it
Dec 26, 2011
Jim Wilcoxson
rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2013
Nick Leeson
rated it liked it
Jan 23, 2013
Brennan Kraxberger
rated it really liked it
Mar 07, 2013
Iden Sinai
rated it liked it
Jun 13, 2015
rated it liked it
Apr 02, 2012
Louis Klonsky
rated it liked it
Jan 28, 2016
rated it really liked it
Jul 05, 2013
Liam Hardy
rated it really liked it
Dec 10, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Politics of Climate Change
  • Oil on the Brain: Adventures from the Pump to the Pipeline
  • Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature
  • Petrostate: Putin, Power, and the New Russia
  • The Oil and the Glory: The Pursuit of Empire and Fortune on the Caspian Sea
  • Oil 101
  • Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil
  • Oil: A Beginner's Guide
  • $20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better
  • Endgame, Vol. 2: Resistance
  • Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back
  • When Species Meet
  • It's a Long Road to a Tomato: Tales of an Organic Farmer Who Quit the Big City for the (Not So) Simple Life
  • Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet
  • The End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World
  • Beans: A History
  • Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry
  • Hamilton's Blessing: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Our National Debt
See similar books…
Tom Bower (born 28 September 1946) is a British writer, noted for his investigative journalism and for his unauthorized biographies.
A former Panorama reporter, his books include unauthorised biographies of Tiny Rowland, Robert Maxwell, Mohamed Al-Fayed, Geoffrey Robinson, Gordon Brown and Richard Branson.
He won the 2003 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award for Broken Dreams, an investigatio