Thursday, July 3, 2008

Book Bundles: Blood and Oil, The Prize

I try to read more, and more broadly as well. And in the course of my reading diet, quite often, I come across books that combine synergistically to give me better insights. Not all them cite each other as references (otherwise that would defeat the purpose of me bundling them).

I’m going to term these combinations ‘book bundles’ and posts that describe them will be tagged as such.

Today’s book bundle is Blood and Oil (3-stars), and The Prize (4-stars).

Blood and Oil talks about the central importance of oil to the world economy and how US foreign policy and the distribution of its military presence (in particular Central Command) is integral to securing the supply of oil to the USA and to the world. Its main ideas are that oil is an essential non-fungible commodity, that the most important oil fields are found in unstable regions prone to conflict and geopolitical risk (Middle East), and that increasingly, oil will be a source of power and conflict in the world due to its scarcity. Hence, the link between blood and oil.

Of the two books, Blood and Oil is the more recent one, but The Prize is a tour de force in explaining the modern history of oil and its pivotal role in historical events such as WWII and the formation of modern day Arab states. The Prize gives context to Blood and Oil, and the modern day oil situation. The author of The Prize, energy consultant Daniel Yergin, is presumably writing a new book on the history and future of oil.

Ratings System

2-stars: Casual reading only, or interesting but not easily readable, or important but narrow interest material.

3-stars: Interesting, readable and ideas of some importance.

4-stars: Interesting, highly readable, and ideas of considerable importance.

5-stars: Interesting, highly readable, important material of high relevance to most people.

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