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Excellent book on the imperialistic geopolitics of oil The author visited eleven countries to write the book and had already been to seven other key nations Interviews with and observations on a panoply of people from Exxon CEO observations only to ihadist fighter Full of facts some of which may be outdated eg Ras Tanura is probably
longer the biggest terminal in the world Even if dated they are illustrative eg Nigeria flared circa 2008 20% of the world s flared off gasDiscusses the resource curse why resource rich countries usually have low per capita incomeThe Dutch Disease an influx of foreign money booming in causes local industry and agriculture to atrophy and they can t always recover after the bust as the Netherlands managed toA good companion book to Sonia Shah s Crude The Story of Oil They complement each other Christopher T Rand s Ma A great book if you re worried about the devastating effect oil has had on the environment but feel like you don t know enough to confidently understand why you feel worried Crude World spells it outThis book read to me like a combination of investigative ournalism with solid social commentary and a pinch of travel narrative because of the varied locations he visits and the evocative like you re really there way he describes them There is an emphasis on drawing input from sources all over the spectrum of oil s economic political and cultural sphere of influence the author speaks to politicians warlords oil executives lawyers working both for and against the industry activists and affected locals Maass doesn t work his way up to his declaration that oil destroys everything it touches but plainly states it and lets the evidence do the rest He isn t out to politely change mindsOne of The Most Compelling Aspects most compelling aspects the book is that Maass personally visits his locations many of which are considered to be dangerous to visit especially for ournalists and reporters who uestion or risk appearing to uestion a status uo with incredibly rich power addicts at the top This isn t because the book rests on anecdotal evidence but often out of apparent necessity several of the people Maass speaks to are living under or working for corrupt regimes Even so his tone sometimes borders on impersonal not because he s removed from his subject but because he s trying to describe several colossal problems on a human scale and that is incredibly difficultI was impressed by this book and learned a lot from it It made me want to go and learn from recent publications on the topic since the playing field has unuestionably changed since 2009 The author exposes the staggering destruction oil has wrought in countries less well known as energy suppliers The author recounts how the greed of Western oil companies governments and consumers have propped up such vicious and corrupt dictatorships as that in Nigeria Nigeria has earned than 400bn from oil yet as Maass grimly notes nine out of 10 Nigerians live on less than 2 a day and one in five children dies before its fifth birthday Some 80% of Nigeria s oil wealth goes to 1% of its population on World Bank figures It is. A stunning and revealing examination of oil's indelible impact on the countries that produce it and the people who possess itEvery unhappy oil producing nation is unhappy in its own way but all are touched by the resource curse the power of oil to exacerbate existing problems and create new ones In Crude World Peter Maass presents a vivid portrait of the troubled world oil has created He takes us to Saudi Arabia where officials deflect inuiries about the amount of.
no longer the biggest terminal in the world Even if dated they are illustrative eg Nigeria flared circa 2008 20% of
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rates He goes to Africa central Asia and all over the world to talk toHe goes to Africa central Asia and all over the world to talk to affected by oil and the oil industry He said that writing this book was difficult even than writing about war because at least in a war there are people shooting at each other which you can write about The book was very revealing to me about how totally corrupt even an oil rich society can be and how no one is really in charge of figuring out how oil should best be used either in this country or anywhere else either It s ust really chaos everyone is in there trying to exploit it before it s all gone which will likely be sooner than we think we re probably close to or past the point of peak oil More of a travelogue than an environmental book Crude World is a collection of nation wide case studies With incisive and bold investigative ournalism Peter Maass has brought out the unambiguous reality of the Resource Curse The chapters on Saudi Arabia and Russia were particularly interesting Maass however provides no new insights or solutions except to reiterate that it is ultimately in our hand. Ecuadorians in an unprecedented lawsuit against Chevron a Russian oil billionaire imprisoned for his defiance of Vladimir Putin's leadership and Nigerian villagers whose livelihoods are destroyed by the discovery of oil Rebels royalty middlemen environmentalists indigenous activists CEOs their stories deftly and sensitively presented tell the larger story of oil in our time Crude World is a startling and essential account of the conseuences of our addiction to oi. Frankly stolen as it trickles through the system from ministers to bureaucrats to policemen scratching their palms And because this is Nigeria not some tiny fly blown state because the land teems with young men without schooling or obs all this leads to big troubles and sometimes big headlines Reported from countries ranging from Russia to Euatorial Guinea Maass s heartfelt and beautifully crafted book reveals how one of oil s darkly magical properties is that it erases inconvenient memories Disappointing in that it focuses almost entirely on the damage done to the oil producing economiessocieties rather than the consumers Although there s a brief analysis of Ira and an implicit acknowledgment that oil was and is the main reason
re there it s only implicitIf you re looking for a history of what has happened to oil producers over the past 30 years read it here If you re looking for a book that focuses on the future of both producers and consumers as the subtitle the violent twilight of oil might lead you to believe this is this isn t the book This book is like an extended magazine article It s listed as 276 pages but that number drops to 225 if you leave out the endnotes If you re looking for a broad introduction to the 225 if you leave out the endnotes If you re looking for a broad introduction to the of oil geopolitics this may be the book for you But the author has no special insight to offer no new way of thinking about the problems involved with oil extraction Ma mre m'a tu - Survivre au gnocide des Tutsis au Rwanda just restatements of what s been said and observed already many times The author himself may be aware of how unoriginal his book is since sometimes he appears desperate to imbue his material with gratuitous significance Describing Osama bin Laden s father he writes If the oil boom had not happened he could not have dreamed of such an extended family and Osama would not have been born Elsewhere he writes lazy sentences like Most Saudis would rather be unemployed than accept low paying difficult work Yes and most writers about oil would rather regurgitate unhelpful stereotypes than actually talk to Saudis Lastly other times the writing isust plain bad Describing Hugo Chavez he says He fills a room like warm water poured into a cup The oily truth Upton Sinclair s The Jungle exposed the literal sausage making of the meat packing industry prompting a painful public examination of the industry eventually leading to reform Peter Maas Crude World presents a similarly ugly painful review of the modern oil industry and will likely lead tovery little The difference is choice When it comes to what we eat and how it gets to our plate we have easy other options When it comes to our intractable addition to oil we have little other choice PJ O Rourke s Holidays in Hell was a humorous tour of the world s leading shitholes Maas book is similar but the intention is a dead serious expose of what happens to otherwise horrific countries when geologists discover Texas tea beneath its sands water or rocks Maas s has likely shortened his natural life span chemically either through his adventures in the ecological nightmares he has visited or politically through his revealing of the secrets of some of the mo. Petroleum remaining in the country's largest reservoir; to Euatorial Guinea where two tennis courts grace an oil rich dictator's estate but bandages and aspirin are a hospital's only supplies; and to Venezuela where Hugo Chávez's campaign to redistribute oil wealth creates new economic and political crisesMaass a New York Times Magazine writer also introduces us to Irai oilmen trying to rebuild their industry after the invasion of 2003 an American lawyer leading. ,we re there it s only implicitIf you re looking for a