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It's the Crude, Dude: War, Big Oil and the Fight for the Planet Paperback – International Edition, September 13, 2005

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Editorial Reviews


"With a keen eye and grim wit, McQuaiq's perceptive inquiry into the world's energy system strips away layer after layer of deceit, cynicism, racism, sordid manipulation, violence and aggression, in the dedicated effort to extract every possible ounce of profit and power in a race to the edge of disaster, perhaps beyond. It is an urgent wake-up call that should — that must — be read and acted upon, without delay."
—Noam Chomsky

“McQuaig gives the reader an entertaining, highly educational and deliciously written crash course on the history of the oil industry.”
The Gazette (Montreal)

“Linda McQuaig might well be described as Canada’s Michael Moore.”
National Post

“McQuaig hits the nail on the head when she tackles the question of why the United States is so concerned about oil.”
The Globe and Mail

“Rivals Naomi Klein’s No Logo and Naomi Wolf’s Fire With Fire for changing the way we live now.”
—Heather Mallick, The Globe and Mail

From the Inside Flap

Michael Moore rakes America's corporate villains over the coals. Noam Chomsky flays the United States for the hypocrisy of its global adventurism. Now comes Linda McQuaig, whose incendiary new book tells us how the world's most powerful industry and history's most lethal army are having their way with the planet.

McQuaig's scathing and razor-sharp assaults on fiscal policy (Shooting the Hippo), Free Trade (The Quick and the Dead), and the Canadian tax system (Behind Closed Doors), have won her a legion of dedicated readers. In It's the Crude, Dude she turns her attention to a truly planetary issue: the cataclysmic effects our addiction to oil is having on our environment and our ability to co-exist in the world.

Nothing could be more urgently relevant.

Since its emergence as the first truly global industry in the early twentieth century, Big Oil has wielded more power than most governments over world politics and the global economy. And now, more than ever, it has a champion in U.S. President George W. Bush, whose Republican party received millions of dollars in donations from the oil industry and whose administration is stacked with former oil executives, including its all-powerful vice-president.

And yet the idea that the U.S. invaded Iraq to secure this strategically important and highly valuable resource is strangely taboo in the mainstream media. It is practically shouted down whenever mentioned. Instead, we are asked to believe that the U.S. invaded Iraq for a variety of reasons, none of which has anything whatsoever to do with a desire to gain control over the most lucrative untapped oilfield on earth — even as dwindling worldwide reserves threaten to turn competition for crude into the major international battle of the future.

In the end, that conflict may be dwarfed by another even more momentous disaster-in-waiting. Over the past two decades, it has become clear that the planet is getting warmer, and that emissions from fossil fuels are largely to blame. The scientific consensus on this — developed in the most comprehensive international peer-review process ever undertaken — is overwhelming. As surely as smoking causes cancer, gas-guzzling SUVs are hurrying us towards global climate change. In the face of this potentially devastating threat, the world has moved with unprecedented speed to try to head off disaster. Only a small group is resisting. But in its ranks are the most powerful corporations on earth, well connected to the most powerful government on earth. The outcome of this titanic struggle — the world versus the oil lobby — will likely determine nothing less than the future viability of the planet.

McQuaig's research, analysis, and eye for detail combine to produce a riveting tale about the battle over oil that shapes our times and will determine our future. Readers of all political stripes will find this book provocative and impossible to put down. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

See all Editorial Reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor Canada; 1st edition (September 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385660111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385660112
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,128,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Linda McQuaig, the co-author of "Billionaires' Ball: Gluttony and Hubris in an Age of Epic Inequality" with Neil Brooks (Beacon Press, 2012) has developed a reputation for taking on the establishment. Author of seven Canadian best sellers and winner of a National Newspaper Award, she has been a national reporter for the Globe and Mail, a senior writer for Maclean's magazine, and a political columnist for the Toronto Star.

Photographer Copyright Credit Name: Keith Penner, 2012.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Earl Hazell on July 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
"We have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of the world's population...In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security...We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards and democratization...the less we are hampered by idealistic slogans, the better."

George Kennan

US State Department

Policy Planning Staff

Excerpts of de-Classified Memo, 1948

"The state-sponsored schools will never tell you this, but governments routinely rely on hoaxes to sell their agendas to an otherise reluctant public. The Romans accepted the Emperors and the Germans accepted Hitler not because they wanted to, but because carefully crafted illusions of threat appeared to give them no other choice."

Michael Rivero


"Naturally the common people don't want war...That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who detremine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along...All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."

Herman Goering

Germany, Third Reich

During his trial at Nuremburg

before he was hanged

Like it or not, there are still things called evidence, fact and objective truth in the world.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By AliGhaemi on March 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
Why did the USA attack Iraq? What drives American policy? Why was the Iraqi oil ministry the first location to be "secured" following the American push into Baghdad? Why did the American Donald Rumsfeld declare publicly that anyone caught setting Iraqi oil fields ablaze would be treated as a war criminal? What is America doing meddling in countries all over the globe?
In a book that seems to answer the pertinent question posed a couple of years earlier by Michael Moore in Dude, where's My Country Linda McQuaig connects the dots between the intentions, patronage, words and public proclamations of Bush-ites - and its predecessors - and their actions upon ascending to the throne of presidency.
McQuaig, by way of introduction, is the kind of journalist whom is given a token weekly space in an otherwise right wing newspaper in order to give the said paper a vestige of balance. Here though, she methodically sorts out the real reason for America's attack on Iraq ("low hanging fruit") in 300 or so pages and demonstrates the oil companies' scandalous plotting against the oil-producing countries, their own nations and ultimately their own constituency. McQuaig, whose pieces are essential reading for the open-minded and visual poison for the corporate types, of course does not stop at the weekly columns. She has several noteworthy books to her name. The latest is It's The Crude, Dude.
She debunks the notion that Iraq (or most other US policies) had anything to do
with democratization and uses documents and quotations to demonstrate America's criminal and nefarious plot to gain control of oil in a repeat of the cycle seen repeatedly in the last 100 years. She correctly describes a defenseless Iraq as prey for America's greed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Roy on October 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
War, Big Oil and those that stand to profit are putting themselves above all else. We are but pawns in worldwide game of profit and greed. This book makes a compelling case for escaping the grip of oil and moving on to an alternative - almost any alternative.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Rhodes on September 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
Now that I have read "It's the Crude, Dude", "American Dynasty - Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush" by Kevin Phillips, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy", by Greg Palast, the more recent books by Michael Moore, "The Long Emergency" by James Kunstler, "Power Down" by Richard Heinberg, and "Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance" by Noam Chomsky, a consistent and disturbing theme emerges from all of these works, that portrays access to and control of oil as the lynchpin of US foreign policy, to the extent that the Bush administration and a number of its predecessors have engaged in activities deemed by many observers to be uncaring toward democracy, illegal and immoral.

Author Linda McQuaig does an excellent job of providing a detailed history of the emergence of oil as a source of energy over the last 150 years, leading, as this story sadly does, to the domination of oil-rich, typically lesser-developed nations, first by Britain and later by the US. McQuaig provides full commentary on the role of the Rockefeller family as it strove, usually with huge success, to control oil supplies and prices at a near-global level.

The disdain held by current and previous US administrations for energy conservation is described as being disturbing, if not appalling. McQuaig also points at the lazy, complicit media in the US, that have, especially since 9/11, failed to push the government or the public to answer the question: "Why do a growing number of groups of people, especially in the Middle East, detest the US to the point where those groups will commit acts of violence against the US, its interests and its allies?
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