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Oil and the American century : the political economy of U.S. foreign oil policy, 1941-1954 /

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986
Series: Johns Hopkins University studies in historical and political science. no. 16. ; 104th ser., 1.
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This well-researched and interesting book by a senior historian in the US Department of State analyzes how a US government policy evolved and led to a virtual American oil company hegemony in the world petroleum industry from 1941 to 1954. The author describes the many arguments between government departments, mainly State and Interior, and also the British government that shaped this policy. The aim of this policy was always clear: to assure oil supplies for the US and its allies, now and in the future. In the preceding decades this problem of supplies had been less serious and during WW I a policy of cooperation between the US government and the oil companies had evolved that Secretary of the Interior Ickes tried to extend during WW II by government acquisition of overseas oil concessions and construction of refineries and pipelines. This direct government action policy failed for lack of public and congressional support, and thus the government was limited to supporting company acquisition of overseas concessions and their operations to secure supplemental or future supplies for this country and its allies. Unfortunately this policy of indirect cooperation between the governments and oil companies could not prevent nationalization of most concessions after 1954 and the emergence of OPEC with its disastrous consequences for the US and the world economy. Perhaps this book will now encourage formulation of a new policy to assure oil supplies for a free world. University and large public library collections.-A. Melamid, New York University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

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