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Blood and Oil Paperback – 4 Nov 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd (4 Nov. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241143063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241143063
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 2.3 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,995,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"A thoughtful and well-researched history of oil and geopolitics . . . Mr. Klare provides a service when he puts America's close ties with Saudi Arabia in a historical context."—"The Economist""A steady poli-sci elaboration of U.S. foreign policy of the past 60 years as viewed through the lens of oil . . . ["Blood and Oil"] is elaborately sourced [and] dismayingly convincing."—Lisa Margonelli, "San Francisco Chronicle" "Michael Klare's "Blood and Oil" is the best book among the recent outpouring of studies on oil and world affairs. I am using it in three classes this semester. Indeed, it is a model of how to research and write contemporary history. Carefully researched, convincingly argued, and clearly written, it shows how oil's role in American society and politics influences U.S. relations with the rest of the world. "Blood and Oil" is essential reading for anyone concerned about the sources and dynamics of U.S. foreign policy."—David Painter, Walsh Sch --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Michael Klare is the author of Rogue States and Nuclear Outbursts, Low Intensity Warfare and Resource Wars. He is the Five College Professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, and lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dave on 14 April 2005
Format: Paperback
In this fantastically well written and researched book, Klare draws on literally thousands of different sources to show how Western governments in general, and the US in particular, have manipulated world politics for the past half century to ensure the life blood of their power never runs dry. He describes the "security strategy" formulated by the American right during their time out of office in the 1990s, how an opportunity to wean the US off fossil fuels was deliberately overlooked when they re-took power this decade, how the idea of domestic self-reliance is a myth and how Iraq could never have been about anything else but oil.
After setting the scene, Klare then shows how Central Asia - most notably the Caspian Sea region - will almost certainly be the next flash point as the US, EU, Russia and China seek alternative supplies to the Persian Gulf, while at the same time producers in the Gulf will quite literally have us over a barrel. It has already started: Oil has reached record prices, while joint exercises with local forces and the establishment of permanent airfields in pro-Western countries has been accompanied with the propping up of decidedly non-democratic regimes and the subtle weakening of troublesome governments, in order to have them replaced by popular revolt. Anyone who has seen the news in the past few months will have seen these prophecies starting to occur in countries such as Kyrgyzstan. Worryingly, Klare foresees a very high chance of all out war: Without predicting who will side with whom, it is clear that on our current path we are destined to come to blows over the last remaining reserves within our lifetimes.
The book comes out with some startling figures. For example, whilst George Bush has pledged $1.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 April 2006
Format: Paperback
Michael Klare doesn't agree with S. Huntington that contemporary conflicts are rooted in civilization differences. For him, they are struggles for scarce and valuable materials: arable land, water, timber, commodities and, most notably, oil.

Relatively inexpensive petroleum lays at the heart and is the engine of the world economy: the transportation (and indirectly tourism), textile, pharmaceutical and agro-business industries.

Oil is a key factor in national defense; e.g. it secured the Allied victory in World War II.

Control of world oil is essential for 'full spectrum domination' (W. Engdahl) and for preventing the rise of a new rival in world affairs.

Unfortunately, oil is becoming rapidly a scarce product. Nevertheless, the policies of the Bush II administration are based on increased oil consumption and on an expansion of the US oil economy!! More unstable and unfriendly supplies, together with rising competition, will be needed to slake the US thirst of cheap oil.

Actually, the main sources of cheap oil are situated in the Persian Gulf and the Caspian region. The author points his finger at the Iraq invasion: the US forces seized immediately the Oil Ministry in Baghdad, while allowing the looting of everything else in the city.

But, for M. Klare, control of the Persian Gulf and other oil regions (+ transportation and refining) constitutes a formidable challenge and will need vast amounts of money to finance the US military presence in all those regions, and that at a huge moral cost and increasing sacrifice of US blood. In the medium, and certainly in the long, term this policy is unsustainable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on 3 Feb. 2005
Format: Paperback
Resources, not differences in civilisations or identities, are behind most conflicts. Most important is oil, which drives armed forces, economies and international politics.
The US state treats oil as a matter of national security. Petroleum supplies 41% of its energy, two-thirds of it for transport (petrol fuels 97% of its transport). Since 1998, it has depended on foreign sources for over half its oil. But Europe, Russia, Japan and China also depend on foreign supplies, sharpening rivalry.
The Middle East has two-thirds of the world's proven oil reserves: 25% in Saudi Arabia, 12.6% in Iran, 10.7% in Iraq, 9.3% in UAE, 9.3% in Kuwait and 1.5% in Qatar. All these countries' governments are now pro-US, except Iran. Russia and the Caspian Sea have 7.4%, the North Sea only 1.6%, Venezuela 7.4% and Nigeria 2.3%. There is also oil in Colombia, Mexico, Angola, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
A US government report of 1941 urged, "more and more aggressive foreign policy aimed at assuring access to petroleum overseas." Earlier its cloak for aggression was 'anti-communism', now it is 'anti-terrorism'. The US state wants all the countries that it dominates to increase their oil exports to the USA.
The capitalist road leads to more wars, permanent US occupation of the Middle East and rising terrorism. Before the attack on Iraq, Ahmed Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress, promised, "American companies will have a big share of Iraqi oil." US forces seized Iraq's oil fields, refineries and Oil Ministry. The US state is covertly allied to the Mujehadin-e Khalq, an anti-Iranian militia based in northern Iraq.
There is an alternative.
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