Thursday, April 16, 2009


The Tyranny of Oil by Antonia Juhasz

By RBSProds "rbsprods" (Deep in the heart of Texas)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER) at from which this review is reposted (slightly modified with no change in meaning).

Everyone should read this book if you want to get the real story of oil in the USA and around the world! Investigative author Antonia Juhasz has produced an extensive, sobering study of the oil industry with all of its historical implications, background stories, and relevance to today's problems. In 2007, according to Ms Juhasz, the oil industry was "far and away the most profitable industry in the world", even considering Wal-Mart's burgeoning sales.

This book is full of cases that range from the very first US oil gusher, to the birth of "Big Oil", expansionism, the countering Progressive and Populist Movements, oil wars, political scandals, illegalities, manipulations, and the negative impact on the environment, the author points to the long-lasting effects on the world and our lives. She is not in favor of just summarily shutting down the oil industry, but she has some unique ideas of what to do with it.

She covers a wide range of additional oil matters from the preeminence of Standard Oil, antitrust laws like the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Federal Trade Commission, the Teapot Dome Scandal, foreign oil companies, lobbyists, ICE energy futures traders, alleged market manipulation, the different types of oil drilling, and how we arrived at the current situation. Of special interest is the 1911 breakup of Standard Oil which was such a huge monopoly that it had to be split into 34 separate companies and also of special interest are the sections on the oil implications of the Iraqi War and Iran which are highly informative.

The author 'pulls no political punches' as she describes the Reagan administration's initiation of the dismantling of anti-trust legislation, how the Clinton administration let the "Enron loophole" slip through and how the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations allowed thousands of oil company mergers, including mega-mergers such as Exxon with Mobil, among others.

She describes how Big Oil exercises its influence from the 'price at the pump' to the "erosion of democracy, environmental destruction, global warming, violence, and war". And how much oil is left? The answers by her estimates are surprising and disturbing, which may explain the gouging that's currently going on. She states we must not only end the tyranny of oil in our lives, but also that of the "Big Oil" organizations. Then she explains why we must do it and how, using concepts that are workable if somewhat idealistic. As a plus, the author solves the mystery of some of those unusual oil company names, logos & acronyms.

Antonia Juhasz has written an outstanding and disturbing book, with some moderate repetitiveness, that points the way out of the present oil dilemma to a better future by remembering past mistakes. The words of Henry Demarest Lloyd reverberate across the pages of this book: "For the ignorance of the public is the real capital of monopoly". Indeed! Highly Recommended.

[For more info on this book google its title for video interviews with the author, videos of talks about the book, other reviews, etc. Everyone should demand the state takeover of this industry and democratic control of it by its workers and by a lobby free Congress-- TR]