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The Prize: Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power [Hardcover]

Daniel Yergin
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

14 Jan 1991
Written by the author of "Shattered Peace" and "Energy Future", this book brings to life the tycoons, wildcatters, monopolists, regulators, presidents, generals and sheiks whose struggle for oil has shaken the world economy, dictated the outcome of wars, transformed the destiny of Britain and the world and profoundly changed all our lives. Beginning with the first oil well of the 1850s and continuing up to Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, it is a story of greed, gumption nad ingenuity, all in pursuit of "the prize" - worldwide economic, military and political mastery through the control of oil. The book includes the story of Shell Oil, a company forged in defiance of the Standard Oil monopoly by an upstart London trader, using Rothchild connections, Russian oil and Dutch petrolium concession in the East Indies. The central strategic role of oil in both world wars - from the decisive 4-knot-per-hour advantage of oil-burning ships in World War I to Rommel's stalled tank advance at El Alamein in War II (he literally ran out of petrol) The underground battle to wind the greatest prize of all - the Saudi oil concession. The inside story of the discovery of North Sea Oil and its crucial role in undermining the OPEC monopoly.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (14 Jan 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671502484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671502485
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 16.5 x 5.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


James Schlesingerformer U.S. Secretary of Defense and U.S. Secretary of EnergyA masterly narrative..."The Prize" portrays the interweaving of national and corporate interests, the conflicts and stratagems, the miscalculations, the follies, and the ironies. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Daniel Yergin is a writer of international renown and president of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a leading firm on political risk and economic analysis. He is consulted by ministers, politicians, CEOs and investors around the world. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 8 Oct 2003
This is a truly amazing book. Certainly, 800 pages of fine print about oil is a lot and this book is no bedtime read. Yet, at the end your only major complaint is likely to be that the story stops at the time of the first Iraq war. Whether your interest is oil, the workings of the business world, diplomacy, American, European or Middle Eastern history, you will find the most fascinating stories in this book. Mr. Yergin shows an amazing breadth and depth whether dealing with power politics, the economics of the oil price or cartel issues and throughout all these subjects the book is evenly paced. The ultimate reason to be fascinated by the book, however, is probably the nagging uneasiness about the future of hydrocarbon man: will the next energy crisis be a lasting one?
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Book 30 Aug 2008
This book informed my thinking on foreign relations like no other. Time and again it makes the link between oil and the involvement of governments in those places where it is found. The book is beautifully written with the first two-thirds reading more like a novel than non-fiction. After reading this book, you will read the news in a different light.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
great insight into the history of oil. it eluminates its great importance throughout the 20th cent both politically and links the outcome of some world events with the availability and non availability of oil. i borrowed the book from the library twice but now intend to buy it. it is a fantastic read and ref book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic 20 May 2009
Oil doesn't interest me much at all - nor the "quest for power" - but there's a reason this was awarded the Pulitzer. From the opening page this book is unputdownable. Riveting stuff, told superbly.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book but flawed 28 Feb 2012
By eddy
I would recommend this book to anyone, its great, a real page turner. The three stars is in the context of the other ratings.

However, it does have a few flaws. The first is entirely faultless on the author, the book is 20-30 years old. Whilst it was completed in 1992 and hase a quite recent epilouge, the genesis of the book is clearly the early 80's. The book was clearly researched in the aftermath of the oil shocks of the 1970's and much of the books tone is informed by the impact of the shocks.

Secondly, whilst the book has excellent stuff about the development of oil in the Persian Gulf, its analysis of the relationship between the USA and Saudia Arabia from the 60/70's onwards is farcially thin. Maybe its my own prejudice but thier is no real attempt at an explaintion as to how this crucial relationship in world oil was maintained so well, esp given the obvious potential point of conflict over Israel. The farce is reached when the epilougue talks about 9/11 and omits even the fact that the terrorists were from saudia arabia! Now I dont know anymore than anyone else what the true nature of the relationship is/has been between these two coutries and the people at the top in both coutries, but a lot has been written about it by others and for this book to devote so little to this subject was deeply dissapointing.

Its a real shame as otherwise this book is a tour de force on business and geo-politics. its essential reading for anyone remotely interested in the subject matter. I'd go as far to say you can't have an informed opinion on the relationship between energy, politics and business without having read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The History of Oil & World Politics in 1 book. 24 Mar 2011
Fantastic read for those who have even the slightest interest in oil.

I recently finished watching the TV series on this, but the book is sooooo much better.

Highly Recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book is a must read it is superbly written and once you start to read you will never stop .It is the ultimate history of the oil business entwined with 20th century history and all the politics war and intrigue.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Yergin wrote this book nearly thirty years ago. He's revisted it recently and brought some of it up to date, but the early stuff is fantastic. Very readable - at times almost like a thriller with very good portraits of the extraordinary larger than life characters that populate this fundamental business.Just Watch Me Perfect Night
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent product! Good value for money. Excellent service and delivery
Published 5 days ago by
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
A must read for anybody on the oil business ! A well written, very well researched, fascinating history. Very good.
Published 2 months ago by MR A S MILNE
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
very informative and clever. a great read. gives an excellent insight into the oil world and its impact on the world politics
Published 5 months ago by tah
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Highly recommended...good book . One of the best book to read when going into oil business or studies to improve
Published 8 months ago by dan
5.0 out of 5 stars The engine of modern history
The story of our most important resource, after food and water, regaled in a wonderful eye-opening narrative. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Glueman
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Story of Oil discovery
Contents and book condition perfectly ok.
Some delay in delivery.
I get the book after reading "the quest". It completes the oil history in a quite clear way. Read more
Published 9 months ago by ENG LUIS LINCE FARIA
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be missed
This is one of my all-time favourite books. It is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the fascinating story behind the discovery of rock oil (petroleum) in the USA and... Read more
Published 12 months ago by David Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner.
A page turner! An entertaining way to learn about oil and its history. Oil is a fascinating subject and its history has some good lessons on what entrepreneurship is about. Read more
Published 15 months ago by M. A. R. GONZALEZ
The engaging way this book is written makes it difficult to put aside and carry on with one's daily duties. Read more
Published 17 months ago by NIOLAMB
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Historical Read
Very informative. Just shows how nothing has changed over the past 120 years and how we never learn from our mistakes.
Published 18 months ago by Kevin and Ann Norman
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