The struggle for wealth and power that has surrounded oil for decades continues to shake the world economy, dictate the outcome of wars, and ...Show synopsisThe struggle for wealth and power that has surrounded oil for decades continues to shake the world economy, dictate the outcome of wars, and transform the destiny of men and nations. The Prize is as much a history of the twentieth century as of the oil industry itself. The canvas of this history is enormous -- from the drilling of the first well in Pennsylvania through two great world wars to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and Operation Desert Storm. The cast extends from wildcatters and rogues to oil tycoons, and from Winston Churchill and Ibn Saud to George Bush and Saddam Hussein. The definitive work on the subject of oil and a major contribution to understanding our century, The Prize is a book of extraordinary breadth, riveting excitement -- and great importance.Hide synopsis
The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power (Simon & Schuster) – Hardcover (1991)
Hardcover, Simon & Schuster 1991
ISBN: 0671502484 ISBN-13: 9780671502485
Written by the author of "Shattered Peace" and "Energy Future", this book brings to life the tycoons, wildcatters, monopolists, regulators, presidents, generals and sheiks whose struggle for oil has shaken the world economy, dictated the outcome of wars, transformed the destiny of Britain and the world and profoundly changed all our lives. Beginning with the first oil well of the 1850s and continuing up to Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, it is a story of greed, gumption nad ingenuity, all in pursuit of "the prize" - ...Show moreWritten by the author of "Shattered Peace" and "Energy Future", this book brings to life the tycoons, wildcatters, monopolists, regulators, presidents, generals and sheiks whose struggle for oil has shaken the world economy, dictated the outcome of wars, transformed the destiny of Britain and the world and profoundly changed all our lives. Beginning with the first oil well of the 1850s and continuing up to Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, it is a story of greed, gumption nad ingenuity, all in pursuit of "the prize" - worldwide economic, military and political mastery through the control of oil. The book includes the story of Shell Oil, a company forged in defiance of the Standard Oil monopoly by an upstart London trader, using Rothchild connections, Russian oil and Dutch petrolium concession in the East Indies. The central strategic role of oil in both world wars - from the decisive 4-knot-per-hour advantage of oil-burning ships in World War I to Rommel's stalled tank advance at El Alamein in War II (he literally ran out of petrol) The underground battle to wind the greatest prize of all - the Saudi oil concession. The inside story of the discovery of North Sea Oil and its crucial role in undermining the OPEC monopoly.Hide
A great history of Oil and how it affects our entire life and lifestyle. Very highly recommended to those who are exceptionally curious about the history of Oil and how intertwined is into so much of our 'modern' history (read that as the last 150 years and especially the last 75 years). An excellent presentation of what could be a difficult and confusing history. I learned a lot.
Without a real understanding of global oil, it's said, it is next to impossible to understand the world we live in.
Because for the past century, it's been oil even more than money that's made our world go round. And national incomes in many developed countries to go through the roof.
Nobody knows this better than Daniel Yergin, the scholar-author-businessman who is probably the #1 authority on petroleum. In THE PRIZE: THE EPIC QUEST FOR OIL, MONEY & POWER, Yergin has written for us a very lively and very important history.
For instance, the need for massive quanities of oil was a major reason Germany invaded Russia who had the great Baku oilfields.
Likewise, Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor was mostly about oil. Before heading south to seize the Dutch oilfields in Sumatra, they wanted to make sure the U.S. Pacific fleet would be unable to attack Japanese tankers sailing homeward.
In the short run, they succeeded completely. But by the last months of the war, the United States had 75% of the world's oil. And Germany and Japan had virtually none.
So when Speer went to Italy to check on the German army (the first "lightning warfare" guys), he saw a German convoy of 150 trucks being powered by 600 Italian oxen.
And as the 64 largest Japanese cities suffered months of incessant American fire-bombings (petroleum products from the air), the Japanese air force was able to put up virtually no resistence. In fact, B-29 losses were only about one plane per 1,000 sorties.
To make a very long story very short, THE PRIZE is a great read. Not to mention a great re-read or even a great continuous read.
If you're smart, you'll keep a copy of this book in the bathroom, another under your pillow and probably another on your desk.
I had no idea about the history and the development of oil, because I had lived most of my life in a rural farming area, and there were no oil refineries or oil fields around. This book was both educational and informative. A GREAT MUST READ BOOK!
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