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Peter Maass: Much of my writing life involved wars, and oil was often mentioned. "It's all about oil," I was told. Or, "It's not about oil at all." Oil is central to our world, but what role does it play in violent conflicts and the divide between rich and poor? Some excellent books had been published, of course, but mainly for academic or expert readers. I had found my subject--a book that would explain in compelling ways what we do for oil and what oil does to us.
Question: What surprised you most as you were reporting the story?
Peter Maass: Oil, as the topic of a book, defied the norms of interrogation. It doesn't have a voice, body, army or dogma of its own. How do you coax secrets from a liquid? I had to travel around the world and talk to all sorts of people--oilmen, warlords, politicians, economists, geologists, environmentalists, sheikhs, lobbyists, and roughnecks. The subjects we discussed ranged from history to law, corruption, engineering, culture, psychology, and justice. I was journeying through an intellectual as much as a physical world.Question: What do you see as the most necessary change that needs to be made to begin to curtail the problems associated with oil?
Peter Maass: We need to curtail our appetite for oil. We need to understand--and I hope my book provides some help on this--that our dependence on oil harms the countries that produce it. Violence, poverty, corruption, pollution—these are linked to oil. The Deepwater Horizon disaster reminds us of what has been happening. We need to become more conservation-minded and efficient, and we need to develop renewable energy on a broad scale. For all of us, consumers and suppliers, it will be a long and painful process. But it can be done.
(Photo © Erinn Hartman)
Contrary to some of the naysayers on here, Maass did the legwork and research. This book takes us to some of the darkest places where the oil industry's rape of the earth and the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Sandahl
I found this book at my local bookshop at a very discounted price, so I bought it. I may be hard, but I read only 10 pages and the "peak oil" showed up. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Peter Christensen
Maass does a great job explaining the Curse of Oil, the Paradox of Plenty, the Dutch Disease, or whatever name you want to call the effect of extractive industries on countries... Read morePublished on November 28, 2012 by Nona
I gave this book only four stars because I didn't think it quite delivered on what was promised. It did provide some information about future oil supplies but this was greatly... Read morePublished on July 27, 2012 by ALEXANDRIA PINEL
Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil by Peter Maass
"Crude World" is a topical book about the impact oil has had on those countries that produce it. Read more
Curiously this book starts out discussing the issue of how much oil is left, specifically in Saudi Arabia but then switches gears to document a whole series of cases studies in... Read morePublished on September 30, 2010 by Amazon Customer
The speed of the shipping was amazing and the book is in excellent shape! amazing job and i would like to make future purchases from this seller when i need more books.Published on September 11, 2010 by Rachel
well written, quite interesting read, definitively recommending to anyone interested. The only reason why I did not rate it 5 stars is the conclusion of the book - it seems a bit... Read morePublished on July 15, 2010 by spanatko
Oil (and the collective worldwide thirst for it) creates many more problems than it solves. This book is a well-timed expose on the profound deleterious effects of oil on... Read morePublished on July 2, 2010 by J. Lien