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The Tyranny of Oil

The Tyranny of Oil Cover

The Tyranny of Oil

The World's Most Powerful Industry--and What We Must Do to Stop It

By Antonia Juhasz

William Morrow, Hardcover, 9780061434501, 480pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2008


Why are oil and gas prices so high?

Who's really controlling those prices?

How much oil is left?

How far will Big Oil go to get it?

And at what cost to the environment, human rights, the economy, worker safety, public health, and democracy?

The answers aren't what you think. They're much worse. But there's also plenty that we can do about it.

As oil prices—and public outrage—skyrocket, Antonia Juhasz, a leading industry critic and expert on corporations and globalization, gives us the hardest-hitting exposé of the oil industry in decades. In The Tyranny of Oil she investigates the true state of the U.S. oil industry—uncovering its virtually unparalleled global power, influence over our elected officials, and lack of regulatory oversight, as well as the truth behind $150-a-barrel oil, $4.50-a-gallon gasoline, and the highest profit in corporate history. Exposing an industry that thrives on secrecy, Juhasz shows how Big Oil manages to hide its business dealings from policy makers, legislators, and, most of all, consumers. She reveals exactly how Big Oil gets what it wants—through money, influence, and lies.

The Tyranny of Oil offers both a new take on problems and a new set of solutions as Juhasz puts forward an immediate call to action—a formula for reining in the industry, its governmental lobbying power, environmental destruction, and violence while reducing global dependence on oil. Her thought-provoking answers to the most pressing energy questions speak directly to readers concerned about oil and gas prices, global warming, wars for oil, and America's place in the world. With the major players in the world's most powerful industry charged with collusion, price-gouging, anticompetitive behavior, and unabashed greed, Juhasz calls boldly for the breakup of Big Oil.

Drawing on considerable historical research, Juhasz explores the parallels between today's companies and Standard Oil, the most powerful corporation of the early twentieth century, whose stranglehold on the economy and government was broken only by the vision and persistence of activists and like-minded politicians. We are in a similar position today, she argues, with powerful opportunities available for ordinary Americans to come together, reclaim their voices, and shore up our nation's crumbling democratic foundation.

A tool for meaningful change that blends history, original investigative research and reporting, candid interviews with key insiders, and a unique focus on activism, The Tyranny of Oil is required reading for every concerned global citizen.

Praise For The Tyranny of Oil

“If our military troops, and the American public, want to know why the US invaded and occupied Iraq, here is the answer. Get your notebooks ready for the facts about oil and the people and companies that are the richest in the world.”
-Colonel Ann Wright, Retired, U.S. Army Reserves

“Juhasz lifts the veil covering Big Oil to uncover an orgy of speculation, mergers, collusion, deregulation, tax evasion, and unprecedented profits.…[she] points the way out and inspires us to free ourselves from Big Oil’s grip to build a more secure, sustainable and peaceful future. Read it and act!”
-Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CODEPINK: Women for Peace and Global Exchange

“[A] timely, blistering critique…this white-hot polemic explores many of the industry’s complex and secret practices.…Explosive fuel for the raging debate on oil prices.”
-Kirkus Reviews

“[Juhasz] reminds us that those who don’t learn the lessons of history are fated to repeat its mistakes.”
-USA Today

“Well-written.…presciently criticizes the weak oversight of the oil futures market.”
-Washington Post

“[A] thorough, readable takedown of Big Oil.”
-Publishers Weekly

“A worthy successor to The Prize... A riveting read with a bold blueprint for ending the madness.”
-Terry Tamminen, former Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency.

“A no-holds-barred book that traces the story of Big Oil from the rise of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company to the scandals and obscene profits of today.”
-Michael T. Klare, author of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy.

“In a time of crisis, Juhasz bravely and expertly exposes the inner workings of an industry and a government riddled with secrets, lies, and deception. She offers the crucial hard evidence—without which public awareness and reform are impossible. Read this book and refuse to be tyranny’s accomplice.”
-Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers

“Juhasz identifies and articulates an extraordinary problem, provides the critical details, offers real solutions, and gives concrete steps to achieve them. In a world that glorifies war and violence, Juhasz offers thoughtfulness and activism.”
-Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, International Campaign to Ban Landmines.Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, International Campaign to Ban Landmines.Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, International Campaign to B

“A brave, groundbreaking case study.…A good first step toward true energy independence is to read this insightful book.”
-Christian Science Monitor

“Part homage to 150 years of anti-monopoly muckraking and trust-busting and part signpost to where the leading edge of the environmental and social activist movements are headed.”
-Toronto Star