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A Beginner's Guide

Vaclav Smil

Oil is the lifeblood of the modern world. Without it, there would be no planes, no plastic, no exotic produce, and a global political landscape few would recognise. Humanity’s dependence upon oil looks set to continue for decades to come, but what is it?

Fully updated and packed with fascinating facts to fuel dinner party debate, Professor Vaclav Smil’s Oil: A Beginner’s Guide explains all matters related to the ‘black stuff’, from its discovery in the earth right through to the controversy that surrounds it today.

  • Publication date: November 2, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781786072863
  • RRP: £9.99
  • Pages: 224
  • Publication date: November 2, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781786072870
  • RRP: £4.99
  • Pages: 224


'“There is no author whose books I look forward to more than Vaclav Smil"

Bill Gates

'Smil's...ability to condense so much detail on a broad range of topics from science to economics in such a short work is as impressive as his command of the subject matter.'

Jason P. Theriot - Energy and Environmental consultant

'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

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

National Post

'A well-balanced, concise, and readable synthesis of oil-related facts and history.'

Technology and Culture

Vaclav Smil

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.

Author page

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