Crude World by Peter Maass

An examination of oil’s indelible impact on the countries that produce it and the people who possess it.

Every unhappy oil-producing nation is unhappy in its own way, but all are touched by oil’s unfortunate power to worsen existing problems and create new ones. Crude World explores the troubled world oil has created—from Saudi Arabia to Iraq, Russia, Nigeria, Venezuela and beyond. The book features warlords in the oil-rich Niger Delta, petro-billionaires in Moscow, American soldiers and oilmen in Baghdad, the gesticulations and politics of Hugo Chavez, as well as officials in Riyadh who avoid uncomfortable questions about Saudi reserves. Crude World also ventures into Equatorial Guinea, the setting for misrule and corruption as well as a race for oil between American and Chinese firms.

Rebels, royalty, middlemen, environmentalists, indigenous activists, CEOs—their stories tell the larger story of petroleum in our time. Crude World is a journey into the violent twilight of oil that answers the questions of what we do for oil and what oil does to us.

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