Top critical review
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Great book but flawed
on 28 February 2012
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.