Pages: 224
Subject: Politics, Economics, Current Affairs
Series: Beginner's Guides
Imprint: Oneworld
Illustrations: Illustrations


A Beginner's Guide

Vaclav Smil

World acclaimed scientist Vaclav Smil reveals everything there is to know about nature's most sought-after resource.
9781851685714 (8 Feb 2008)
RRP £9.99 / US$14.95

The Book

Packed with fascinating facts and insight, this book will fuel dinner party debate, and provide readers with the science and politics behind the world's most controversial resource. Without oil, there would be no globalisation, no plastic, little transport, and a global political landscape that few would recognise. It is the lifeblood of the modern world, and humanity's dependence upon it looks set to continue for decades to come. In this captivating book, the author of the acclaimed Energy: A Beginner's Guide, Vaclav Smil, explains all matters related to the ‘black stuff', from its discovery in the earth, right through to the political maelstrom that surrounds it today.

Additional Information

Subject Politics, Economics, Current Affairs
Series Beginner's Guides
Pages 224
Imprint Oneworld
Illustrations Illustrations


About the Author

Author Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Manitoba, Canada. He has written over 10 books on energy and been a keynote speaker at both the World Economic Forum and the Global Roundtable on Climate Change. He is the first non-American to receive the American Association for the Advancement of Science Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology and is a Special Fellow of the Royal Society.


"Everything most people — including most economists and investment advisors — should know about the physics and economics of oil."

- National Post

"In a fluent, easy style [Smil] delves into the world of oil from its discovery on the ground through to its effect on prices at the petrol pumps, and to its impact on future generations."

- The Good Book Guide

"a well-balanced, concise, and readable synthesis of oil-related facts and history."

- Technology and Culture

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