Blood of the Earth
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Blood of the Earth

Sub title: The Battle for the World's Vanishing Oil Resources

Author: Dilip Hiro

"‘The battle for hydrocarbon reserves is comparable with the European nations’ violent scramble for colonies in the 19th century. The crucial difference this time is that the impending struggle will go beyond a handful of European powers and will include China and India.’ When the Great Powers switched from coal to oil to run their navies just before World War I, it heralded a change in global politics comparable to the introduction of gunpowder in 1040. Oil became the chief strategic weapon of war. The victors’ conclusion that oil—the ‘blood of the earth’—proved to be the ‘blood of victory’ has since applied to all major conflicts. With petroleum becoming an indispensable part of modern life—from fertilizers and fuel to plastics and pharmaceuticals—it has emerged as the prized commodity for which wars are fought. As oil output peaks and competition for it grows fierce, the number of countries able to export will shrink to a handful by 2020. They will all be Muslim states in the Persian Gulf, except Venezuela, which is currently poised against the US. Blood of the Earth, by the acclaimed historian and journalist Dilip Hiro, is a gripping history of oil and how it has revolutionized civilian life as well as war and global politics over the last century. Written in Hiro’s customary lucid and colourful style, it sets the stage for the coming oil wars of the 21st century, as well as considering the alternatives to hydrocarbons. ‘A comprehensive guide to all you wanted to know about oil and its alternatives but were terrified of asking till global warming came about’—Mani Shankar Aiyar, Petroleum Minister, 2004–2006 Press Reviews ‘Hiro adeptly synthesizes copious amounts of complex information into insightful narratives . . . Highly accessible for general audiences’—Booklist (Chicago)"

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Penguin Books India


1 Feb 2009



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