The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power


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Yergin's The Prize is a compelling and comprehensive history of the oil industry, from the first oil well ever drilled (near Titusville, Pennsylvania, in 1859) to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. To be an 8-part PBS mini-series in Autumn 1992. Nominated for the National Book Award.

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Jul 1, 2010

Very Good and Informative

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.


Nov 29, 2007


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.


Sep 27, 2007


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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