The UFPPC book discussion series Digging Deeper will resume in January with a discussion of Daniel Yergins The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, a hefty panoramic history of oil -- and the struggle for wealth and power that has always surrounded oil, to quote from the books dust jacket. -- You are invited to read and discuss this popular standard work on the history of the global oil industry in four parts during the month of January 2005 at Tacomas Mandolin Café (3923 S. 12th St.). -- Weekly reading will amount to about 200 pages. -- See below for the detailed reading schedule....
DIGGING DEEPER TO READ DANIEL YERGINS THE PRIZE IN JANUARY
United for Peace of Pierce County (WA)
January 4, 2005
The UFPPC book discussion series Digging Deeper resumes after a brief hiatus with a discussion of Daniel Yergins The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power (Simon & Schuster, 1993; orig. ed. 1991). You are invited to read and discuss this popular standard work on the history of the global oil industry in four parts during the month of January 2005. Weekly reading will amount to about 200 pages. (See below for the detailed reading schedule.)
To quote from the books dust jacket: In the grand tradition of epic storytelling, The Prize tells the panoramic history of oil -- and the struggle for wealth and power that has always surrounded oil. . . . The Prize is as much a history of the modern world as of the oil industry itself, for oil shaped the politics of the twentieth century and has profoundly changed the way we lead our daily lives. . . . The Prize reveals how and why oil has become the largest industry in the world, a game of huge risks and monumental rewards. . . . It is peopled by a vividly portrayed gallery of characters that make it a fascinating story -- not only the wildcatters, rogues, and oil tycoons, but also the politicians and heads of state. . . . Not only one of the leading authorities on the world oil industry and international politics, Yergin is also a master story teller whom Newsweek described as one of those rare historians who can bring the past to life on the page. . . . After seven years of painstaking research and with unparalleled access to sources, Daniel Yergin has written the definitive work on the subject of oil.
As reader Jeffrey Morseburg has written, Although the western world's dependence on fossil fuels requires us to deal with some of the world's most odious regimes because of our massive needs, we will be importing massive amount of oil for the foreseeable future. While there are alternative energy sources that show some promise, it will clearly take decades to develop them and the investment of many billions of dollars. So, we are left drilling deep in the earth so that we can extract the "black gold" that our industrialized societies run on. Unfortunately, some of the most massive oil reserves are located in the most politically volatile areas on earth and are controlled by autocratic regimes with populations that resent our presence and involvement in the region. How did we end up where we are today? This is the question that Daniel Yergin answers in his long, epic history of oil. He is a gifted writer and beginning with early oil discoveries in America and the growth of Standard Oil, John D. Rockefeller's colossal corporation, he adroitly sketched the businessmen, bureaucrats and diplomats that forged the oil business. He then artfully describes the discovery and race to develop the world's largest oil deposit in the Middle East, the vital importance of oil reserves to the warring powers during World War II, the emergence of OPEC and the current state of energy strategy. Yergin has a deep background in the energy business as well as a firm grasp of the complex strategic issues that face it, and The Prize is a sweeping panoramic history of one of the world's most important commodities.
Digging Deeper will take up other, more critical works on the global petroleum industry in coming months. The Prize, though more than a decade old and hobbled by an insufficiently critical perspective, will provide extremely useful background for those works.
The Prize is widely available in new and used bookstores in both hardcover and paperback editions.
The Prize is also available in public libraries. On Jan. 4, the Tacoma Public Library had two copies available (Main and Swasey branches). The Pierce County Library System had two copies available (Lakewood [closed Jan. 3-22 for recarpeting] and Processing/Administration). The Puyallup Public Library had one copy available.
Copies were also available on Jan. 4 at the libraries of Pacific Lutheran University, the University of Puget Sound, Pierce College, and Saint Martins College.
[Note: The Prize was also the basis for an enjoyable four-hour, eight-part PBS television series made in 1992 narrated by Donald Sutherland and produced for Majestic Films International and Trans Pacific Films in association with BBC Television, MICO, and WGBH (Boston) by William Cran, Jonathan Taplin, Ruth Jackson, and Sue Lena Thompson in association with Trebitsch Produktion International, Die Zeit TV GMBH, and Cambridge Energy Research Associates.]
READING SCHEDULE for Daniel Yergins The Prize
Monday, Jan. 10 -- Prologue and Chapters 1-11.
Monday, Jan. 17 -- Chapters 12-23.
Monday, Jan. 24 -- Chapters 24-29.
Monday, Jan. 31 -- Chapters 30-36 and Epilogue.
All discussions will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mandolin Café, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma. Open to all.
Note: There is no charge or fee for participation, but a purchase from the Mandolin Café is cordially requested.