“The new edition is…a wonderfully readable history of the development of the oil age: how the world came from a point where if you had energy it was either biomass—that is wood—or coal, to a point where oil was the dominant source of energy. It was probably never more than fifty percent of total energy worldwide but it has been the most traded energy commodity and it changed the nature of geopolitics over the course of a hundred years from around 1890 to late in the twentieth century. It’s only the rise of shale oil in the US that has reduced crude oil’s central role in world politics. And a lot about the characters of the people who were the developers of oil in the early days. There’s a fascinating chapter in this book about John D. Rockefeller and how he differed from the conventional entrepreneur. We would think of someone like Rockefeller as probably good at running oil rigs and drilling them quickly and selecting the right areas, but what he was was actually an exceptional manager. His success came more from monopolising the means of transport of oil than from the extraction of oil in the first place.” Read more...
The best books on Energy Transitions