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The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power Paperback – Illustrated, December 23, 2008
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More About the Author
He received the Pulitzer Prize for The Prize: the Epic Quest for Oil Money and Power, which became a number one New York Times best seller and has been translated into 17 languages.
Dr. Yergin is Vice Chairman of IHS and Founder of Cambridge Energy Research Associates and serves as CNBC's Global Energy Expert.
Other books by Dr. Yergin include Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy. Dr. Yergin has also written for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, and many other publications.
Both The Prize and Commanding Heights were made into award winning documentaries. The eight-hour miniseries The Prize was aired on PBS, BBC, and NHK and viewed by 20 million viewers in the United States alone. The 6-hour documentary Commanding Heights that Dr. Yergin produced received three Emmy nominations, and the New York Festivals Gold World Medal for best documentary.
Dr. Yergin serves on the U.S. Secretary of Energy Advisory Board and chaired the US Department of Energy's Task Force on Strategic Energy Research and Development. He is a Trustee of the Brookings Institution, on the Board of the New America Foundation, and on the Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Initiative.
Dr. Yergin holds a BA from Yale University and a PhD from Cambridge University, where he was a Marshall Scholar.
Top Customer Reviews
You'd really be selling this book short to think of it just as a history of oil, the oil business, and oil politics in the middle east. Even that would have been an ambitious book but Yergin makes it so much more. It honestly is a thorough history of the entire 20th century (sans the 90s) viewed through the perspective of the oil industry.
As each chapter, era, decade, and war unfolds in Yergin's story, you'll gain a much better understanding of the roots of many of the US public's stances on big business, anti-trust legislation, and other pivotal issues of the last 100 years. You'll see how pivotal energy resources were in shaping the planning and rationale for 2 world wars and how the ready availability or lack of oil played as much of a role in winning and losing those wars as did battlefield strategies and the valor of the millions of soldiers involved. You'll see the role oil and energy played in the final collapse of the great imperial powers.
Probably most relevant to 2007, the lessons Yergin teaches about middle east history, the changing power roles the evolved in the last 50-60 years as the power shifted from the oil companies to the oil producing countries. Tracing the roots of nationalization of oil production in Mexico and Venezuela is a great stepping stone to understanding out current relationship with Venezuela but it also properly frames the story of the origins of OPEC and OPEC policies.Read more ›
"The Prize" traces the history of oil from its humble, entrepreneurial beginnings in the hillsides of western Pennsylvania, to the shrewd domination of the industry by John D. Rockefeller, to the breakup of Standard Oil, and through the discovery of oil in the farthest flung corners of the globe. Part of Yergin's history is something of a tragedy: the gradual seizure of oil from the voyagers who discovered it by national governments who were able to use their seizures to threaten the West during the 1973 oil shock and beyond. In this one very big instance, third world governments really did take on multinational corporations -- and defeated them.
Yergin chronicles how oil went from a freewheeling business of refiners and speculators to an instrument of great geopolitical importance, one where nation-states played at least as great a role in shaping the industry as the oil companies did. In this transition, anything could -- and did -- happen. Rock bottom prices threatened the survival of oil producers one year, and sky-high prices forced drastic changes in consumer behavior the next (indeed, "The Prize" does give one a crystal-clear view of the price mechanism). Nightmare scenarios involving the political manipulation of oil did indeed come to pass in 1973, in 1979, and during the Gulf War.Read more ›
From the opening pages it is clear that Yergin is an authority on the subject. We have not travelled more than 10 years along the 150 year history of oil and yet we have already learnt it's origins, it's ancient and alternate uses, the products it was competing with, and we have met some of the early inventors, entrepreneur's and explorers.
There are three themes that Yergin develops throughout the book. Firstly, the story of oil is the story of capitalism and modern business. The province of Fortune 500 companies, multinationals and the underpinning of wealth in the industrialized west. Certainly, from as early as the late 19th Century, with the emergence of Standard Oil as the first multinational company (a subject Yergin devotes a fair amount of time to),- it's hard to refute this claim. Yergin does recognize that the late 20th Century was less oil lubricated and more computer chip driven, and it's obvious to all of us that this trend will only intensify in this century. Indeed from the time the first edition of 'The Prize' was published (just before the Gulf War) and even since this edition came out in 1993 -things have changed quite a bit economically.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've only just begun reading this for a class on the history of the American petroleum industry, but it is by far one of the most readable textbooks ever. Read morePublished 7 days ago by av228
My husband has been reading this for 2 months (it is over 700 pages). His comment is "amazing and thorough"Published 7 days ago by jewelry lover
This is the third copy of this book that I have purchased. The first two are on my shelf, and the third I gave away at a white elephant gift exchange. Read morePublished 13 days ago by JamesAWhitehead
An almost complete review of the discovery of oil right through the beginning of the 21st century. Politics of oil is featured heavily along with a cast of characters throughout... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Robert Sparrenberger
Watch out, it's abridged. I know this is said in details, but I always forget to look because I still don't really get the point of an abridged book. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Bryan Davis