Daniel Yergin’s The Prize: Black Gold and Oil

Two history books I highly recommend by the author Daniel Yergin, are The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, and The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World. The books were written some twenty years apart, but should be read as a series. The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power was published in 1991, and is found in paperback.

The prize also won the Pulitzer Prize.  It is indeed a highly recommended book what with the oil prices and other natural resources in the world being in such high demand.

Yergin has certainly done his homework, as every aspect of the oil industry is revealed, from its many colourful characters and company scions to the mega-corporations that exist today. The emphasis is not only on the essential importance of oil’s roll in our day-to-day lives, but on its supreme geo-political significance in our history for the past 150 years.

Yergin leaves no stone unturned, as he blends story-telling of key individuals’ lives with the broader global implications i.e. wars and power politics, to reveal a world basically carved out of the battles for oil and energy over the past century and a half.

These are meaty tomes. So if you are looking for a light read, do not proceed.

If however, you would like an entertaining, complete history of the oil industry and its far-reaching effects on the modern world, than these are the classic standards.