Oil: A Concise Guide to the Most Important Product on Earth

On my last trip to visit family in Detroit, Aviva and I stopped at the Bookbeat , a very interesting independent bookstore in Southfield, MI. They specialize in art, beat culture and off-beat books.

I bought a copy of Oil because I’d brought along a business book and wanted something to read that would take my mind off work for a few days. I also figured that I should know more about oil because it has such a deep influence in American culture and business.

The back cover says, ” Here is an essential guide to the stuff that fuels virtually our every move and spills into global economies, international politics, human rights, and the health of our planet.” And that’s what the book addresses, beginning with early oil exploration and how kerosene and then gasoline drove the large oil rushes of the early and mid 20th century. The author also describes a number of things made from oil that might surprise you.

The second half of the book deals with modern politics around oil; your view of that may depend upon your own politics.

But, with oil prices around $70 a barrel (which at one time was considered a sure death-blow to western economies, and has shown to have little affect), this book is an important read to understand how the various bits of oil (exploration, mining, refining, delivery) affect our economy and lives.


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