“The role of oil in the foreign policy of the United States is the subject of endless conspiracy theories. The reality is both more mundane and more startling than the conventional wisdom would have it. Andrew Cooper has lifted the lid from a crucial period of U.S. policy. Mining a rich lode of previously unreleased documents, Cooper uses the very words of the protagonists to tell a story so sensitive that it has remained virtually covert. In doing so, he sheds surprising new light on U.S.-Iranian relations and the origins of the Iranian revolution.”
—Gary Sick, author of All Fall Down: America’s Tragic Encounter with Iran and former member of the National Security Council
"Adds significant insight to one of the most important periods in the American relationship with petroleum. . . . [The Oil Kings] excels by virtue of focus, discipline, and original research. Supporting his account, Cooper draws from significant sources – most of which were classified until recently – that re-create the personal relationships that proved crucial to world history."
—Brian Black, The Christian Science Monitor
"Relying on a rich cache of previously classified notes, transcripts, cables, policy briefs and memoranda, Cooper explains how oil drove, even corrupted, American foreign policy during a time when Cold War imperatives still applied. . . . The most compelling dimension to Cooper’s narrative is the story of U.S-Iran relations, particularly during the Nixon and Ford administrations. . . . A revelatory, impressive debut."
“As uprisings today rock the Muslim world, with America at war across the region, Andrew Cooper transports us back to where it all began: with the startling diplomatic and military machinations of the seventies, when oil first became a global weapon and the White House was roiled by Vietnam and Watergate. Meticulously researched, vividly told, with an inside-the-room intimacy, The Oil Kings reminds us of the ultimate folly of America’s efforts to dominate world events—especially through its co-dependency with rival petro-states. This is an important and powerful book.”
—Barry Werth, author of 31 Days: The Crisis That Gave Us the Government We Have Today
"Scintillating diplomatic history. . . . Cooper gives a lucid analysis of shifting oil markets and unearths revelations . . . from meticulous research. . . . Its centerpiece is Cooper's superb, lacerating portrait of Henry Kissinger. As the super-diplomat's obsession with great-power rivalries founders in a new world of global economics that he can't fathom, Cooper gives us both a vivid study in sycophancy and backstabbing and a shrewd critique of Kissingerian geo-strategy."
“[Cooper] skillfully mines previously classified documents to make clear that high-profile inmates were running the foreign-policy asylum.”
—Paul Jablow, Philadelphia Inquirer
About the Author
Andrew Scott Cooper
holds advanced degrees from Columbia University, University of Aberdeen, and Victoria University. Dr. Cooper has worked at the United Nations and Human Rights Watch and is a columnist for PBS/Frontline's Tehran Bureau.