Sunday, May 07, 2006

Daniel Yergin's "The Prize" - History of Oil

I was chatting with one of my self-identified libertarian friends tonight (he started out the conversation with "were you referring to me in that last blog post?") and I ended the evening by recommending Daniel Yergin's fabulous book The Prize to him. It's a history of oil from its discovery in 1850 through to the first Gulf War in 1990, and it won a well-deserved Pulitzer. It's a huge tome (800 pages, I think) but an outstanding history of the single most important factor in world history during the past century and a half. If you read it, you'll be amazed how the thread of oil runs through the waning days of imperialism, both World Wars, and the Cold War... it really has been the fulcrum of power in modern times. Highly, highly recommended.

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