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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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"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."
“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.”
“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
About the Author
Journalist and bestselling author Linda McQuaig has developed a reputation for challenging the establishment. Winner of a National Newspaper Award for uncovering the Patti Starr affair in 1989, she has written for The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Maclean’s magazine, and the National Post. She now writes a weekly political column on the op-ed page of the Toronto Star.
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Top customer reviews
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. There is something clearly obscene and revolting about the colonial attitude, but unusually the book makes the case that America's policies have not been good even for its own population. They have primarily been devised in favour of the multinational oil companies which have, in turn, channeled huge dollars into the coffers of their preferred politicians. It is this system that encourages corporations and lets them get away with it too. For instance, the book points to climate change and its dangers that are remarkably ignored by Americans, as if they have their heads in the (Iraqi) sand. Elsewhere, the book provides time-lines and maps, including a graphic stemming from a meeting with oil companies presided over by US Vice President Dick Cheney in 2001 where Iraqi resources were carved up. This is two years before Saddam supposedly refused to cooperate with the UN, UNESCO, WTO, NFL and whatever other sham reasons were given for blitzkrieging that country. Propelled by voracious American corporations setting US policy and a media which gladly runs with whatever propaganda it is fed, McQuaig points to the true drive behind America's many dealings worldwide as being related to oil and the profitable trade that comes with it. Interestingly, McQuaig cites studies and points out that the world is running out of oil, or as she puts it oil is being used faster than new discoveries are coming aboard, which can only translate to the commodity's rapid increase in value which, in turn, can only mean more greed and transgression.
Using extensive interviews, quotations and historical records and after travelling to different countries to speak to experts, the author dedicates several chapters to historical context and discusses and examines the options of the oil-producing countries and
America's policies vis-à-vis these. She also discusses the notable example of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez who has taken control of his country's resources and mobilized them to his peoples' benefit. There is another option.
In sum, the book is an important book with much to elucidate even if it possibly poses one too many rhetorical questions with obvious answers.
It's The Crude, Dude should urgently come in Braille.
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?" For me, having read "It's The Crude, Dude" has helped me to arrive at an increasingly succinct answer to this question. Both the governments and the major oil companies in the US and other `developed' countries have, in the past, subverted democracy and free markets in the interest of securing access to, if not also control of, large supplies of oil. In this context, sufficient supplies of oil are equated with economic and personal freedom, certainly sacrosanct notions within the American psyche. Energy conservation, by contrast, is regarded as an affront to the US concept of freedom.
I highly recommend this book. It is well researched and, for the most part, well written.
Other reviewers of this book suggest that it is either difficult or impossible to buy "It's the Crude, Dude" in the US. If this is true, it's quite scary.