Crude Reality

Crude Reality

Petroleum in World History

Book - 2012
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This introduction to the history of oil tells the story of how petroleum shaped human life since it was first discovered leaking inconspicuously from the soil. Leading environmental history specialist Brian C. Black connects the subsequent exploitation of petroleum to patterns in world history while tracing the intricate links between energy and people after 1850. --from publisher description
Publisher: Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, c2012.
ISBN: 9780742556546
Characteristics: x, 277 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Sep 19, 2018

Disappointing. Author erroneously states petroleum comes from decayed terrestrial plant matter (it comes from decayed marine plankton and algae). Too many popular culture references that distract from the narrative (the Avatar film, and, incredibly, The Ballad of Jed Clampett). Not sure if the book is trying to be an activist's call to arms, or a historical reference. It fails at both.

Mar 09, 2013

An excellent overview of the story of how the world discovered and became thoroughly dependent upon petroleum. Spans from the days of whaling ships searching the world's oceans for whale oil to supply lighting needs, to the American approach to developing the original oil fields of Pennsylvania, and up to the present day. Beyond the pervasive civilian transportation aspect, the work also emphasizes how access to oil is vital to military projection and intervention, domestic and international trade, and modern agriculture.


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