- Hardcover: 220 pages
- Publisher: Round Oak Publishing Company (March 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0967724805
- ISBN-13: 978-0967724805
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 29 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,677,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Color of Oil : The History, the Money and the Politics of the World's Biggest Business Hardcover – March 1, 2000
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This book has vastly more impact on world commerce than columnists like Buckley, Goodman and Safire. -- Douglas Perret Star, Journalism Professor at Texas A&M University
From the Author
What was your motivation behind writing this book?
Economides: Well, first we really wanted to tell a story, pieces of which we have told many times. It is a story that needs to be told and has not been told before. We also wanted to bind together, in almost metaphysical terms, society and this particular industry because we think that the impact, influence and importance of petroleum on humanity are civilization-shaping. We wanted to stress the international side of the industry. We take this for granted and yet the fact that my co-author Ronald Oligney and I have worked in 72 countries, perhaps excessive even by oil business norms, is absolutely incomprehensible to all outside the industry.
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Top customer reviews
Being in the oil business, I usually read most popular, non-specialized books that come out about this industry. But this one takes the cake.
Its basic thesis is that the politics and ecology of the oil industry can be insightfully described in terms of various "colors." For example, Part I is "Green," and talks about how the money generated by the oil business is best seen in verdant terms. What a revelation! Next comes Part II, "Black," which posits that the viscous substance can be profitably associated with shades of night. Get it?
It's as if a group of 13-year old poetry students decided they suddenly wanted to write about the oil industry. And the series of "Oil = Death" color plates midway through the book (by Armando Izquierdo) is the summit of cackhandedness.
Avoid this dreck. There is no shortage of good books out there on this subject. Two I can name right off the bat are "Oil on the Brain," an informal romp by Lisa Margonelli, and Daniel Yergin's more staid but solid "The Prize." Both of these books are worthy non-idiotic outings.
Shame Amazon forces me to give a one-star minimum.
Perhaps, the best chapter was Part VII which provides a brief regulatory history of US government policy in the energy industry. The authors explain how Reagan's decision to decontrol oil prices during his first term was a crucial economic blow to the USSR which ultimately led to its demise. Part VII also chronicles the fumblings of the Nixon and Carter administration policies, which ultimately led to a "reverse tariff" against US companies which effectively embargoed US domestic oil production. While tracing US energy policy back to World War II the authors illustrate how we arrived at the high degree of foreign oil dependence today.
There are other sections that I recommend just skimming. For example, I found both Parts V on technology and VI on culture to be both uninteresting and pointless. And I found both Part VIII on the Environment and Part IX on 21st century predictions to be too dated to be relevant.
The analogy to colors provided a good reminder of each section. The authors did a good job in helping the reader to have an understanding of the industry within the context of history and economic conditions.
A good read.....not too intimidating nor too technical. A quick read as well. Written so as not to lose the reader.