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.
The Big Money September 22, 2009
Are petro-execs intrinsically more corrupt than other businessmen?
Scenes from the Violent Twilight of Oil
Foreign Policy September 8, 2009
It succors and drowns human life. And for the last eight years, oil — and the people and places that make it — was my obsession.
Slate July 18, 2008
What “Generation Kill” Gets Right About Iraq
Who’s Africa’s Worst Leader?
Slate June 24, 2008
Hint: It’s probably not Robert Mugabe
The New York Times Magazine December 22, 2007
How the scarcity of oil may be making our antibribery laws obsolete.
Outside March 2007
Alan Dershowitz, meet Steven Donziger. On behalf of 30,000 inhabitants of Ecuador’s remote Oriente region, this New York lawyer is putting it to Big Oil. But will his multi-billion-dollar lawsuit establish a global precedent—or is he just looking for a scapegoat for one of the nastiest messes on earth?