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The Squeeze: Oil, Money and Greed in the 21st Century Hardcover – 1 Oct 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPress (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007276540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007276547
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 3.6 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 178,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tom Bower has a distinguished reputation as an investigative historian, broadcaster and journalist and is the author of several ground-breaking books about tycoons. His most recent works are 'Branson' and 'Gordon Brown: Prime Minister'. His books about the Nazis include 'Blood Money' and the definitive biography of Klaus Barbie. Among his other much-debated biographies are those of Mohammed Fayed, Richard Branson and Robert Maxwell.

Product Description

Review

Praise for Tom Bower:

‘As a psychological profile, an exploration of personal ambition and a study of political obsession driven by religious angst, this biography is gripping.’ Daily Telegraph

‘Intensively researched but coolly critical…this remains the most thorough biography we have.’ Independent

‘What makes this worth reading is Bower’s damning indictment of Brown's main boast: his supposedly sure stewardship of the economy.’ The Times

‘A powerful book which poses serious questions.’ James Naughtie

‘Compulsively readable…essential reading.’ Norman Lamont

‘Bower gets the big strategic judgements, most admirably in his scepticism about the fashionable theory known as 'peak oil’ Sunday Times

'..there's nobody more diligent than Bower' Dominic Lawson, The Sunday Times

"a shattering critique which will leave…readers angry" The Independent

"a roller-coaster account of the past 30 years of the oil industry….he has a real sense of the drama of deal-making and deal-breaking….Bower is particularly entertaining on the vast Russian oil industry" Daily Telegraph

From the Publisher

`The Squeeze' is an invaluable account of the modern oil industry and vital to understanding the awful truth about BP's current disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. With unprecedented access to their engineers and executives in London and Houston, Tom Bower tells the inside story of the BP's history of negligence.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By George Wilton on 1 Dec 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Saw a pre release review for this book and bought it as soon as it came out and did read it cover to cover in three days. The book covers the later period of my career in upstream oil and gas business during which I have met some of the book's central characters.

After the first twenty pages I found my increasing annoyance had turned into my correcting numerical errors in the text; where millions and billions are often mixed up or where countries are transposed with field names and so on. A proof read of the book by someone with a technical background could easily have removed these annoying errors.

But those faults did not detract from the flow of the book although I was left wondering if the non numerical statements and conclusions were sometimes as inaccurate as the numerical errors.

Nevertheless this is book is a great read for someone in or not in the world of oil and gas. The book does draw out the significant changes that have and continue to take place as the oil majors see the balance of commercial influence having all but entirely moved to the national oil companies and the trading floors.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Bates on 22 Feb 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am part way through this book and am really enjoying it. It is extremely accessible and informative and is a very easy read. It appears to be very well researched. The only downside is that it is poorly edited and contains quite a lot of errors that get more and more annoying as the book progresses. I would recommend this to anyone interested in understanding, at a high level, the recent history of Big Oil.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andrew, UK on 26 Jun 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bough this book on the recommendation of a colleague but he did warn me about there being many errors. It's a great concept and the focus on people is a nice touch as it personalises what is a fascinating industry. However I wouldn't recommend this book without a substantial revision.

I have been in the business for 30 years and know some of the characters described - one of two of them quite well. The rather sensational descriptions of personalities and motivations are a stretched in places. If Tom Bower gets his description of them wrong and then couples that with multiple (and I mean multiple) innacuracies with facts then how much faith can I have in he bits I'm less familiar with.

A missed opportunity.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Alan Clark on 1 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback
good scope and plan for a book but every bit I knew about was filled with factual errors so confidence about the other bits has to be diminished. The errors were technical, historical and geographical and of the sort you'd expect a good editor to sort out. There were so many as to seriously detract from the enjoyment of the book and such that I couldn't recommend it
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Format: Hardcover
A Rip-Roaring tale of the ugly side of big oil corporations and the people behind them. Superbly informative and an enjoyable read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This author knows his subject inside out. Highly informative read proving an insight into the machinations of big oil. Highly recommended.
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By Mr. D. Hinds on 8 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Have read all his books and still don't realise how he does it. Good man to have about he tells the tale that we all can understand. If you aint 'squeekie clean' watch out.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tom Bower rather specialises in telling the stories of the crooks, near crooks, charlatans and risk-takers that rose to the top, and then sometimes spectacularly fell, in modern times. Robert Maxwell, Tiny Rowland, Richard Branson, Conrad Black and Simon Cowell have all been subjects of his especially brutal style of biography. In "The Squeeze" the characters are at least as colourful and twisted as these for the book is about, as Bower puts it, "Oil, Money and Greed in the Twenty-First Century".

Having spent four decades or so in the oil industry with Shell, albeit not at the top (though close to it at times) I was staggered by the revelations in "The Squeeze". There is not a multinational oil corporation, a national oil company, a trader or anybody else which comes out of the history of the oil industry over the last twenty years with much credit. And Bower does not even discuss in detail the biggest bunch of crooks of all - the leaders of Enron whose dysfunctionality and illegalities are well known. I often tell a story of how back in 2000 I travelled on business to Houston to visit Shell's US Company "Shell Oil" whose headquarters are there. On my way from the airport with one of their executives I was taken on a detour to see a sports stadium the newly named "Enron Field", home of the Major League Baseball team the Houston Astros. "That's what we (Shell) should do" he said pointing at the stadium "and we could learn from Enron in how to run an Energy company as well. We are much too risk adverse in Shell".

Risk is endemic in the oil business and always has been and it's very hot at times - so those who can't stand the heat are well advised to keep away from the kitchen.
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