Oil is not pretty, but it is a resource that drives the modern world. It has made fortunes for the lucky few and provided jobs for millions of ordinary folks.
Thick and slippery, crude oil has an evil smell. Yet without it, life as we live it today would be impossible. Oil fuels our engines, heats our homes, and powers the machines that make the everyday things we take for granted, from shopping bags to computers to medical equipment. Nations throughout the last century have gone to war over it. Indeed, oil influences every aspect of modern life. It helps shape the history, society, politics, and economy of every nation on earth.
This riveting new book explores what oil is and the role this precious resource has played in America and the world.
Grades 7-12. Starting with basic geological concepts, this study briefly covers facts about the formation of coal and oil before focusing the majority of the text on the role of oil in history. From whale oil to John D. Rockefeller’s tangles with Theodore Roosevelt, through both world wars up to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, this thorough title chronicles how the discovery and pursuit of oil has shaped, and continues to shape, world history. Throughout, Marrin covers ecological issues and explores the development of sustainable energy sources. The casual tone, leisurely pace, and anecdotal digressions make for fascinating reading, although the narrative format may frustrate students seeking quick answers to research questions; and while sources are cited, there is no bibliography or suggestions for further study. Best suited for larger collections, this will complement Cory Gunderson’s The Need for Oil (2004).